Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The $8 Billion Cover-up

One of the most egregious aspects of Obamacare is the transfer of $500 billion dollars from Medicare to help finance Obama's health care fiasco. Now the Obama Administration is using sleight of hand to disguise this gutting of the Medicare program.

The $8 billion cover-up
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Boston Herald

The bad news just kept coming yesterday for the nation’s Medicare program — with no help in sight from an administration that substitutes economic sleight of hand for real reform.

The trustees of the Social Security and Medicare program reported that a sagging economy and an influx of retiring baby boomers were putting an enormous strain on the system, and according to their annual financial reports, Medicare would run out of funds by 2024 and Social Security’s retirement fund would run dry by 2033.

“Medicare’s actual future costs are highly uncertain and are likely to exceed those shown . . .  in this report,” the trustees said.

All of those rather sobering figures are something to think about the next time Democrats accuse House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) of wanting to push granny over a cliff by suggesting responsible reforms of both programs to keep them solvent.

And there was more evidence yesterday of administration malfeasance on Medicare with the release of a report by the Government Accountability Office on an $8.3 billion “experimental” program run out of Health and Human Services.

Remember how under Obama- care about 12 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage programs — popular for their extra benefits like vision and dental care — were going to be kicked off those programs? Well, that change would become apparent to seniors next October (the start of the open enrollment period for the following year), just weeks before the presidential election.

Enter the $8.3 billion “demonstration project” which HHS is using to temporarily keep those programs alive — at least until after the next election. The GAO report said the project “dwarfs all other Medicare demonstrations” and is so poorly designed that there was no way of knowing whether the bonuses paid to insurers netted “meaningful results.” It’s what happens when you throw money at plans just to cover your political backside until after Nov. 6.


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