April 24, 2012

October Surprise

As I mentioned in my Saturday post about the dog eater, the current president has failed to surround himself with smart people to advise him.

Nancy Pelosi famously said that, "...we have to pass the (health care) bill so you can find out what is in it."  Many people assumed that she meant that lawmakers knew what was in it, and that the citizen peons would find out eventually.  Many people also saw the implementation timeline and remarked about how the costliest and most concerning portions of the bill wouldn't take place until after the 2012 elections.  Those dastardly Dims, inserting their political timeline into the health bill that was to reform healthcare in America.

Now it seems that those sneaky Dims weren't all that smart:
But as part of its hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts, the Obama one-size-fits-all plan slashes reimbursement rates for Medicare Advantage starting next year — herding many seniors back into the government-run program.
Under federal “open-enrollment” guidelines, seniors must pick their Medicare coverage program for next year by the end of this year — which means they should be finding out before Election Day.
Ahhhh, that damn October 15 enrollment window opens just three weeks before November elections.

So the brilliant minds at the White House finally figured out that they might see some backlash from the people who depend on the Medicare Advantage program.  Those silver haired people that live in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania might not like what they are going to find when selecting their insurance coverage for 2013. 

Never fear, Blowie-lovers, they have a plan (a plan to screw the honest, hard-working, tax-paying 99% - again):
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.
It is a temporary measure, and one that nails the taxpayers for $8 BILLION more - and, if Blowie gets re-elected, those on Medicare will get screwed later.


CenTexTim said...

"if Blowie gets re-elected, those on Medicare will get screwed later."

We'll all get screwed later - even more so than we're getting screwed now.

Harper said...

Yes, I was writing with the understanding that most of my blog-reading friends comprehend the presumptive screwing. This is additional buggery.