For all the screaming about Republicans cutting Medicare, Obamacare cut it by $500 billion. The law provided that the bite begin this year. Oops. That could hurt the president’s reelection chances. So, the spending has been maintained by pretending existing Medicare programs are experimental! From a column in the NY Post:
It’s hard to imagine a bigger electoral disaster for a president than seniors in crucial states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio discovering that he’s taken away their beloved Medicare Advantage just weeks before an election. This political ticking time bomb could become the biggest “October Surprise” in US political history.
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.
What utter mendacity this law has been from beginning, to passage, to administration. With this crowd, the law is what they say it is and words only mean what they want. Sorry, but I am reminded of Hugo Chavez. Disgraceful.