Full Title: Govít auditors call on Obama administration to cancel Medicare bonuses GOP sees as political
Gov't auditors call on Obama administration to cancel Medicare bonuses GOP sees as political - The Washington Post
President Obama's Medicare slush fund-Benjamin E. Sasse & Charles Hurt - NYPOST.comIn a blow to the Obama administration on Medicare, government auditors Monday called for the cancellation of a costly bonus program for private health plans that congressional Republicans have criticized as a wasteful political ploy.
The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said itís not clear that the $8.3 billion Medicare Advantage bonus program will improve quality because most of the money is going to plans just rated average. The auditors did find, however, that the bonuses would temporarily ease the pain of unpopular cuts to insurance plans under President Barack Obamaís health care overhaul law.
Sure sounds like your basic bait-and-switch to hide a key change to Medicare while at the same time buying the votes of seniors.This political ticking time bomb could become the biggest ďOctober SurpriseĒ in US political history.
But the administrationís devised a way to postpone the pain one more year, getting Obama past his last election; it plans to spend $8 billion to temporarily restore Medicare Advantage funds so that seniors in key markets donít lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obamaís re-election bid.
The money is to come from funds that Health and Human Services is allowed to use for ďdemonstration projects.Ē But to make it legal, HHS has to pretend that itís doing an ďexperimentĒ to study the effect of this money on the insurance market.