Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The nation's top Medicare official threatened to fire one of his subordinates if the subordinate (an actuary) reported to Congress the true cost of President Bush's prescription drug benefit. As a result, the true cost was not revealed until after President Bush had signed the bill into law. Now we know the benefit will cost $500-$600 billion over ten years rather than the no more than $400 billion Bush promised. In December, Thomas Scully, the top Medicare official, resigned to take a job as a lobbyist for health care companies. He now lobbies for (among others) Abbott Laboratories, Aventis (major drug companies) and Caremark Rx, a pharmacy benefit manager. Is it surprising that all of these companies are major beneficiaries of the new prescription drug benefit?

It is stories like this that make people not trust government. Personally, it reaffirms my absolute lack of trust in the Bush administration. If I behaved this way working in local government the best that would happen to me is that I'd lose my job. But more likely I'd probably go to jail.

Full story here (free registration req'd).



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