The right of citizens to dissent is codified in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution where it states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
In fact, it is the First Amendment that allegedly guarantees the citizens of the United States to dissent to whatever the government is doing. For as long as the Republic has stood, the right to dissent under the First Amendment has been (for the most part) honored.
Unfortunately, that tradition of dissention has been under attack by the very government that is sworn to uphold that right. Nowhere is that more evident than that which the Obama Administration and his Democratic Party is attempting to do with the debate over the nationalization of health care.
According to the Associated Press yesterday, the Obama Administration is "investigating a major insurance company for allegedly trying to scare seniors with a mailer warning they could lose important benefits under health care legislation in Congress."
In a warning letter to Humana, HHS said the government is concerned that the mailer "is misleading and confusing" partly because the company's lobbying campaign could be mistaken for an official communication about Medicare benefits.
HHS ordered the company to immediately halt any such mailings, and remove any related materials from its Web site. In the letter, the government also said it may take other action against Humana, which is based in Louisville, Ky. [Emphasis added.]
Irrespective of whether the insurance company (Humana) is accurate in its mailers to seniors (which, based on reports of Congress' initial draft legislation, it probably is), the precedent that the Administration is setting by attacking a deep-pocketed insurance company sends a dangerous shot across the bow of every American who dares exercising their First Amendment right of dissent against this government.
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