OPINION: Editorials Pile on Obama Administration's $8 Billion Medicare Advantage Gimmick

April 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC -- A new Government Accountability Office report published yesterday exposes the billions of dollars the Obama administration is spending on temporary Medicare Advantage bonuses being provided to nearly all plans, rather than focusing only on the highest-ranked plans as intended in this demonstration project. As noted in several editorials, this budget gimmick seems designed to stave off cuts to the Medicare Advantage program until after the 2012 elections. President Obama's fuzzy math is a short-term solution that doesn't address the long-term shortfalls within the Medicare Advantage program created by the president's health care law.

Obama uses slush fund to camouflage Medicare cuts
The Washington Examiner
April 24, 2012
Editorial

The last thing Obama needs is another losing fight over this in 2012, so it appears that his administration devised a way of avoiding it. According to a Government Accountability Office report published yesterday, the administration has been doling out cash from an $8 billion slush fund to temporarily cushion the blow from these cuts. The pain will come later, presumably after his re-election.

To read the full article online, click here.

Medicare's Obama Donation
An $8.35 billion 'demonstration' to get past November.
The Wall Street Journal
April 24, 2012
Editorial

Re-electing President Obama is really important to President Obama, which isn't news. What is news are the out-of-liberal-character acts that his Administration is committing to serve this political goal.

Recall how last year the White House rudely overruled the EPA on its ozone rule, postponing it past November. Then there were those temporary tax cuts that go poof on December 31. Most remarkable is Mr. Obama's decision to flout his own health-care law to temporarily protect private insurance inside Medicare.

ObamaCare slashes about $145 billion from Medicare Advantage, the program that allows one of four seniors to escape the traditional entitlement and choose commercial plans. This was a central plank of the Affordable Care Act, touted by everyone from former White House budget maven Peter Orszag to Democrats on Capitol Hill.

To read the full article online, click here.

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

... 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.

To read the full article online, click here.

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