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WP:(Tommy Thompson) Denies Dems Medicare Cost Estimates

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:59 AM
Original message
WP:(Tommy Thompson) Denies Dems Medicare Cost Estimates
HHS Denies Democrats Medicare Cost Estimates

By Mark Sherman
Associated Press
Saturday, April 24, 2004; Page A11


Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is refusing to make public or give congressional Democrats the Bush administration's estimates of the cost of last year's Medicare legislation

In a letter to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), a senior HHS official writing on Thompson's behalf said Democrats have no right to review administration estimates that the Medicare overhaul would cost substantially more than what President Bush and Thompson disclosed last year. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Friday.

Thompson's decision seems certain to reignite Democratic complaints that the administration concealed its higher estimates of the bill's cost when several conservative Republicans were wavering in support of the Medicare overhaul because of concerns about its price tag. The administration has rejected the accusation....

***

Bush and Thompson said repeatedly that the legislation would cost no more than $400 billion over 10 years, even as Medicare's top analyst forecast that it would cost at least $100 billion more....


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37829-20...
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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 05:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. You don't need no stinkin' cost estimates!
Get with the program Dems, this is a Republican's world! </sarcasm> :puke:
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. Tommy sums it all up: democrats have no rights
time to give these guys the heave ho!! Wasn't Foster they guy that was threatened with losing his job if he revealed the actual numbers?
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Foster: unethical bush admistration stops him from telling the cost
WASHINGTON -- A top Medicare official told Congress Wednesday he had considered quitting to protest what he called an unethical Bush administration effort to stop him from telling lawmakers the cost of Medicare legislation.

Medicare actuary Richard Foster told the House Ways and Means Committee that he stayed to fight what he called "inappropriate" decisions to keep Congress from finding out his cost estimates were more than $100 billion higher than their's.

Foster's testimony came as Democrats asked the Justice Department to investigate whether he was threatened with firing last summer if he gave Congress his estimates of the cost of Medicare's new prescription drug benefit.

Foster has complained that Thomas Scully, who ran the Medicare agency until December and is now a lobbyist, stopped him from telling lawmakers about his higher estimates of the legislation's cost.

~snip~
more:http://www.trivalleyherald.com/Stories/0,1413,86~10669~...
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. We did it again, maddezmom -- Two GREAT minds!!!
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. That's the guy: "Medicare Official Testifies on Cost Figures"
New York Times
March 25, 2004, Thursday
NATIONAL DESK

Medicare Official Testifies on Cost Figures
By ROBERT PEAR (NYT) 913 words

WASHINGTON, March 24 -- The chief Medicare actuary, Richard S. Foster, told Congress on Wednesday that last June he provided the White House with data indicating that prescription drug legislation would cost 25 percent to 50 percent more than the Bush administration's public estimates. That information did not make its way to Congress for six more months.

Mr. Foster said he had shared his cost estimates with Doug Badger, the president's special assistant for health policy, and with James C. Capretta, associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. But he said that Thomas A. Scully, who was then administrator of the Medicare program, directed him to withhold the information from Congress, citing orders from the White House in one instance.

In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Foster said he had struggled to preserve the independence and integrity of his office. It was his first public appearance since a furor erupted over his assertions that Mr. Scully threatened to fire him if he disclosed his cost estimates to Congress during debate on the Medicare bill. The law, signed by President Bush in December, adds drug benefits to Medicare and significantly increases federal payments to private health insurers.

Mr. Foster said he had been told to withhold information from lawmakers of both parties. Moreover, he said, Mr. Scully stated that he was ''acting under direct White House orders'' in telling the actuary not to respond to a request from the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Bill Thomas, Republican of California. Mr. Thomas was a principal architect of the Medicare bill.

An aide to Mr. Scully sent an e-mail message to Mr. Foster on June 20 saying that the actuary would suffer ''extremely severe'' consequences if he provided Congress with information requested by Mr. Thomas and other lawmakers....

***

Mr. Foster said he had evidence that Mr. Scully was indeed ACTING UNDER INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE and from Mr. Badger, in particular....


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0D15FB...
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. they are saying that America has no right to know the truth about what its
money is paying for. LIARS.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Only members of BushCo matter. Everyone else does not even
exist in their world. Except when they need someone to go get their coffee.
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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Or to die for them in their Imperial Konquests!
:grr: :mad: :grr:
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
9. Tommy has no idea how to run any finances. Look what he did to our budget!
He left Wisconsin billions in the hole because of his reckless spending and tax cuts. We should expect the same out of him on the federal level.
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Snellius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
10. Enough is enough. Democrats should just walk.
It's hard to believe that the Congressional Democrats can keep taking this kind of neglect and abuse and just keep whining about it, like a bloody-nosed kid on the schoolyard crying that "Johnny doesn't play fair." What difference does it make any more? Just walk out. Quit. Form an alternative congress. What difference does it make?
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