Earlier this week, I reported that, as part of its health care reform advocacy campaign, UnitedHealth Group was directing callers to a UHG hotline to attend an anti-health care reform tea party in Ohio. UHG had sent a letter to its employees, encouraging them to become more involved in the health care reform debate--to attend town hall forums, send letters to members of Congress--and offering to prepare them with guidance and talking points vis-a-vis UHG's opposition to the public option.
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My source--who does not work for UHG--called one of UHG's so-called advocacy specialists and, in real time, communicated to me that, among other things, he'd been directed to an anti-health care reform rally outside the office of Rep. Zack Space (D-OH)--an event which turned out to be a tea party.
UHG was unavailable for comment on the day our story came out, but, yesterday, denied encouraging employees to attend anti-reform rallies to other news outlets. You can read their entire statement below. Today, I spoke with UHG spokesman John Parker to ask him for further comment. Does UHG believe my source was lying? Or does UHG contend that my source may have been directed to a tea party, but that this would have been a breach of company policy?