Tuesday, April 24, 2012

“Economic Sleight of Hand”

What's this? Things are worse than Washington wants to admit. How can this be? The $8 billion cover-up - BostonHerald.com
The trustees of the Social Security and Medicare program reported that a sagging economy and an influx of retiring baby boomers were putting an enormous strain on the system, and according to their annual financial reports, Medicare would run out of funds by 2024 and Social Security’s retirement fund would run dry by 2033.
Any bets on whether or not anything will get done? Anything effective that is.

So instead of face the truth, the Obama administration is going to sweep things under the rug - at least until after the next election.
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.

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