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.
Let me add my two cents about the expenditure of government money on a recent healthcare.gov ad campaign. Perhaps you’ve seen it: A geezerly gent extols the gusher of money to be spent on diagnostic tests for aging Americans, tests that will permit him to spend more time with the other character in the ad, his adorable grandson. Left out is the stark reality that these tests are bankrupting the tyke before he’s old enough to object to them. (Via Hot Air.)