Playing Games With Taxpayer Money

No, this isn’t about the Secret Service scandal or the GSA scandal–it’s about using taxpayer money intended for other things to prevent voters from feeling the impact of Obamacare and voting against President Obama because of it.

Yesterday’s New York Post posted a story about how some of the money intended to implement Obamacare is being spent.

The article states:

It’s hard to imagine a bigger electoral disaster for a president than seniors in crucial states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio discovering that he’s taken away their beloved Medicare Advantage just weeks before an election.

This political ticking time bomb could become the biggest “October Surprise” in US political history.

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.”

I think this should be included on the list of reasons why the federal budget needs to be cut drastically. The taxpayers’ money is being spent irresponsibly, and we need to make sure Washington has less money to spend.


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