President Obama has signed a new law intended to prevent Medicare beneficiaries from spending days in a hospital only to find...Read more
Were Bush Officials Untruthful About Medicare Law's Costs?
- February 2nd, 2004
A furor has erupted over the recent revelation by the Bush administration that the new Medicare prescription drug law will cost $134 billion more than the approximately $400 billion assumed when the legislation was passed and signed. The new White House estimate of $534 billion is drawing escalating complaints from both Democrats and conservative Republicans who had opposed the law.
"The question is what did they know and when did they know it?" said Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-CA).
The Washington Post reports that Bush administration officials had indications for months that the new Medicare law might cost considerably more than they were telling Congress, according to internal documents and sources familiar with the issue.
Among a small group of lawmakers who negotiated the bill's final version, "it was an open secret" that administration officials believed "there is no way this is $400 billion," one Washington Post source said.
"The Bush administration owes Congress and the American people an explanation about why it took them so long to reveal their cost estimates -- and how much of the total is the result of lavish overpayments to HMOs and big profits for drug companies," said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD).
Meanwhile, a leading House Democrat has called on Speaker J. Dennis Hastert to launch an ethics investigation into accusations that a Republican lawmaker was bribed to vote in favor of the Medicare legislation, which narrowly passed the House. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), the Democratic whip, warned that Democrats will conduct their own inquiry if the House leader does not act.
Following last November's vote on the new Medicare drug plan, Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) said groups and lawmakers had offered support for his son's Congressional campaign if Mr. Smith backed the measure. Smith refused.
For a New York Times article on the bribery investigation, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/02/politics/02ETHI.html
For the Washington Post article on the Bush administration's underestimate of the Medicare law's costs, go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64627-2004Jan30.html
For an editorial on the new Medicare law in the Des Moines Register, go to: http://desmoinesregister.com/opinion/stories/c2125555/23362064.html
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Susan Pollack served as Chairperson of the Falls Church Senior Citizens Commission from 1997 to 2011 and was on the Executive Board of the Falls Church Education Foundation. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of the National Capital Area and is a member of the Arlington B...
Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers
Mindy Felinton concentrates in the areas of Medicaid planning, Veterans' Benefits, asset protection, nursing home planning, elder law, wills, estate planning, trusts, living wills, powers of attorney, probate administration and trust administration and began her legal career 30 years ago as an Assistant State Attorney...
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...