Smarmy Alligator

Politics, pop culture, and self-deprecation

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Dedicated to proving that Bush is The Worst President We’ve Ever Had (or, the TWPWEH files):


“Federal investigators said Monday that the Bush administration had improperly allowed some private health plans to limit Medicare patients’ choice of health care providers, including doctors, nursing homes and home care agencies.

The investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, also said that the private plans had increased out-of-pocket costs for the elderly and had not saved money for the government, contrary to predictions by Medicare officials.

The study, the most comprehensive assessment of a demonstration project that the administration has described as the best hope for Medicare’s future, focused on the program’s experience with a form of managed care known as preferred provider organizations, the type of health insurance most popular among people under 65.

Medicare is spending $650 to $750 a year more for each beneficiary in such private plans than it would have spent if the same people stayed in traditional Medicare, the investigators said.

In negotiations over the Medicare bill last year, the administration pressed for more money and authority to foster the growth of preferred provider plans, saying they would be more efficient and would save money over time. Administration officials reiterated that view on Monday.” [emphasis mine]

This is pretty typical. The administration has a great new plan to reduce costs and increase efficiency by, in some way, privatizing a traditional government program. Later studies show that costs, in fact, were not reduced and in general the plan failed. Administration officials blindly stick by their original stance, refusing to recognize failure or change their opinions one iota. But hey, I bet they and their friends made some money.

To make it all even more fancy:

“The report was the fourth in two years to find that the administration had skirted federal law in pursuing health policy objectives. In July 2002 and last January, the accountability office said the administration had improperly allowed states to divert money from the Children’s Health Insurance Program to provide coverage for childless adults. ”


Written by laura k

September 28, 2004 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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