The nation’s largest health insurance company is recruiting its employees in a grassroots lobbying campaign against health care reform, according to the group Consumer Watchdog.
United Healthcare, sent an e-mail to its 75,000 employees Tuesday featuring template letters for employees to send to senators, calling on them to resist a publicly-financed health care option and instructing them to "share their unique perspectives" and write letters to their local newspapers.
Consumer Watchdog reported that the letters said:
"It is important that we, as members of the health care industry and as individuals, make our voices heard on this important issue. Therefore, we encourage you to actively participate in this debate as both industry voices as well as individuals. Please take action by writing a letter to your elected officials in Washington."
United Healthcare offered this bit of advice for employees looking to pen letters to the editor to their local newspaper:
Don’t write every week. Many newspapers have rules limiting the number of letter writers to a few appearances each year, and you will wear out your welcome if you write too frequently.
The e-mail explicitly states that employee participation in the lobbying effort is voluntary, but also urges employees to "share a copy (of their letters) with us." It isn’t the first time United Healthcare has asked its employees to become politically engaged — it also attempted to rally employees around the anti-health care reform cause in September, according to Consumer Watchdog.
Major health insurers WellPointe and Cigna have also sent e-mails to employees urging them to contact lawmakers and express their concern about health care reform.