11
Feb
2005

Follow the money

Salon.com War_Room

February 9, 2005

If anyone is still inclined to give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt on its budget numbers, the latest news on the cost of the Medicare prescription drug benefit should put an end to that.

You remember the prescription drug benefit. That's the program the president pitched in his 2003 State of the Union address as costing $400 billion. The White House strong-armed the bill through Congress in November 2003, again assuring everyone who would listen that its cost over 10 years would not exceed a CBO estimate of $400 billion. Then, two months later, the White House revealed that the program would actually cost $534 billion over 10 years. And then, a few months after that, it became clear that the administration knew all along that the $400 billion number was fantasy. Internal administration projections put the 10-year cost at $551 billion, but the administration withheld that information from lawmakers as they debated and voted on the Medicare benefit. In March 2004, the chief actuary for Medicare revealed that the administration had threatened to fire him if he told Congress about the $551 projection. ... Read the rest at: //archive.salon.com/politics/war_room/ (You will need to scroll down.)


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