Mar 20, 2004
Ahh, now I see…
Richard Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare, provided Congress with documents Friday showing that federal payments to private health insurance plans under a new Medicare law could far exceed what Congress assumed when it passed the measure last fall.
For months, lawmakers had been seeking the data, but Foster said in an interview that he had withheld it under instructions from Bush administration officials.
He turned over documents outlining the information at a meeting Friday with congressional aides of both parties who work on health legislation.
The documents estimate that the new law will increase Medicare payments to private health plans by a total of $46 billion over the next 10 years, not the $14 billion assumed by lawmakers when they voted on the legislation. Foster had cited the discrepancy in an interview earlier this week, but the documents he turned over Friday, Foster said, show that the Bush administration was aware of the gap well before Congress approved the new law.
And by the way, it looks like the Republicans aren’t done with Nick Smith & Son yet either.