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Sebelius shoots back at critics

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius shot back at conservative critics who accused her of "thuggery" and "Soviet tyranny" for warning insurance companies not to falsely blame large premium increases on health care reform. "What is really objectionable about these comments is not who they're attacking, but what they're defending," Sebelius wrote in a Wall Street Journal commentary. "These critics seem to believe that any oversight of the insurance industry is too much, and that consumers would be better off in a system where they have few rights or protections." When insurance companies have had free rein, Sebelius said, "the cost of health insurance has more than doubled, while millions of hardworking Americans lost their coverage or drained their savings to keep up with premiums." She concluded: "If critics really want to go back to the days when insurance companies ran wild with no accountability, they should have the courage to say so openly instead of hiding behind distracting attacks."