For the Privilege of Being Robbed by Geithner ....
About: geithner: 'privilege of being an american' is why rich need higher taxes | the weekly standard
Some of us interpret his soundbyte of "unacceptable deeper cuts" as meaning more bread & circuses are needed during our re-election campaign.
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But the administration’s 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 don’t lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obama’s re-election bid.
The money is to come from funds that Health and Human Services is allowed to use for “demonstration projects.” But to make it legal, HHS has to pretend that it’s doing an “experiment” to study the effect of this money on the insurance market.
That is, to “study” what happens when the government doesn’t change anything but merely continues a program that’s been going on for years.
Obama can temporarily prop up Medicare Advantage long enough to get re-elected by exploiting an obscure bit of federal law. Under a 1967 statute, the HHS secretary can spend money without specific approval by Congress on “experiments” directly aimed at “increasing the efficiency and economy of health services.”
Past demonstration projects have studied new medical techniques or strategies aimed at improving care or reducing costs. The point is to find ways to lower the costs of Medicare by allowing medical technocrats to make efficient decisions without interference from vested interests.
Now Obama means to turn it on its head — diverting the money to a blatantly nonexperimental purpose to serve his political needs.
A Government Accounting Office report released this morning shows, quite starkly, that there simply is no experiment being conducted, just money being spent. Understandably, the GAO recommends that HHS cancel the project.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/an_billion_trick_ImTBFfz7MeuZLJY7JzXEIJ#ixzz1ssIbhUTS
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