Medicare: Bush's Achilles' heel?

Following closely on the heels of the announcement of a 17% hike in Medicare premiums comes an article in today’s paper concerning GAO’s confirmation of the findings by Health and Human Services: that Thomas Scully, former head of Medicare, coerced and threatened the Medicare actuary into lying to Congress about the cost of Bush’s Medicare reform package. The actuary was threatened with termination if he did not go along with the lies.

The White House’s response is not to dispute the findings, but rather to claim some sort of executive privilege, since they objected to the release of information for the investigation.

This is obviously prime Pit material, but I would rather pose the question: Since Medicare affects so many seniors and disabled, and since in many cases families are paying the premiums for their parents and dependents, could this egregious abuse of position and the subsequent investigation be the Goliath stone that rightfully topples this president? Of all the lies and deceptions perpetrated by this administration, this one seems to be the most personal; the one that directly puts the lie to the whole “family values” nonsense.

One would think, wouldn’t one?

There are several problems, to wit:

This issue has been well-known to Democrats (and anyone who gives a damn) for 9 months. Bush’s Medicare scandal goes all the way back to early December when Republican Tom Smith admitted during a taped radio interview that he’d been offered an illegal bribe in exchange for his vote on this bill (which, in all fairness, he didn’t accept, btw. However, he also refuses to provide the name(s) of the partiy(ies) who committed this illegal act on the House floor). And news of the administration intentionally withholding pertinent information from Congress broke last March

Who Tried To Bribe Rep. Smith? Stop protecting him, Congressman.: December 1, 2003

Medicare analyst confirms muzzling – He said his boss told him he’d be fired if he gave lawmakers higher cost estimates for the prescription-drug bill.: March 13, 2004

The run-up to the Iraq war was more hype than lie. Medicare is a clearer example of dishonesty and corruption at high levels: March 29, 2004

Bush Administration Broke the Law With Medicare Lie: May 5, 2004

So where is the OUTRAGE? Where is the KERRY CAMPAIGN?

Oh sure, he’s finally mentioning the aggregious scam about “bulk purchasing” in this horrendous Medicost Bill. But it gets lost in the noise of everything else he’s talking about, there are no details about the extent of the lie (let alone that it’s even a lie in the first place), and he doesn’t even mention the BRIBERY or THREATS or SUBTERFUGE used to get it passed! Do you have any idea how long, or how many variants in search terms it took me to find this itty bitty blurb, where he seems to just gloss over the ILLEGAL activity to focus on “ideology”?

Why isn’t this LIE and ILLEGAL ACTIVITY plastered all over the front of Kery’s web page? It SHOULD be!

Where is the INVESTIGATION? Where are the CHARGES and/or PROSECUTIONS?

As far as I can tell, the Justice Department is still “deciding,” if they’re going to investigate, I guess. ??

The Ethics Committee says they’re investigating, but they refuse to disclose their findings:

And last, but certainly not least, where are the REPLIES to this thread? In 2½ hours, not a damn word. Nobody cares. It’s sickening and disheartening and frightening.

This won’t end up meaning squat because NO ONE’S SCREAMING LOUDLY ENOUGH ABOUT IT, and because that nasty Bush Machine is INTENTIONALLY DIVERTING THE PUBLIC’S ATTENTION TO VIET NAM (and blaming that focus of attention on KERRY, which stupid people are BUYING) IN ORDER TO AVOID ANSWERING THESE CRITICAL QUESTIONS AND ACCUSATIONS.

It’s a crime, in more ways than one. :frowning: :mad:

But wait there’s more. Greenspan has been talking about the need to cut Social Security benefits, basically because of the deficit.

I hope AARP is lobbying hard against this crap. Their website says they are opposed to private accounts, which is good but if they aren’t more active than that I’ll be ripping up their envelopes for quite some time in the future.

Doesn’t the increase work out to something like 11 bucks/mo?

It may just be a little bit, to you or me, but many seniors are on a fixed income. They already have every cent marked for some purpose and finding more for something they thought was covered will not be easy, and in some cases possible.

AARP betrayed seniors by supporting this last medicare bill, why expect them to help now?

To add insult to altruism, Scully has stated that he refuses to pay back his salary, which he is required by regulation to do and that, while it’s true that he is now a paid pimp, oops, lobbyist for Abbott Labs, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Caremark RX and other health care companies, his actions while with the government were “motivated solely by a desire to help Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers.”

Brutus: As pointed out, 11 bucks is a movie and popcorn to you and me. To a low-income senior, it’s rent and food. It’s also NOT THE POINT, not so surprisingly. The point, dear Brutus, as seems to always be the case with George Bush, is lies and deceit, and the debate is whether or not this will be his downfall.

That paragon of unbiased reportage, the Washington Times reports:

Maybe some enterprising lawyer will test that theory for us.