Democrats renew call for MMA investigation

Sunday, June 27, 2004

June 28, 2004

WASHINGTON - Democratic lawmakers sent letters last week to congressional leaders and to President Bush, renewing their call for an investigation into whether the administration misled Congress about the cost of the new Medicare law, The Hill reports.
According to White House Office of Management and Budget estimates released after Congress passed the Medicare law last November, the legislation will cost $534 billion over 10 years -- $134 billion more than the cost previously estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.
CMS chief actuary Richard Foster has said that the administration had the higher cost estimate before the final House and Senate votes on the Medicare law and that throughout the legislative process, his estimates on the cost of the legislation ranged from $500 billion to $600 billion over 10 years.
Bush and HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson have said that the Medicare law will cost no more than $400 billion over 10 years.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Democratic lawmakers called on Congress to demand that the Bush administration release internal documents related to the Foster cost estimates.
In a separate letter to Bush, the Democratic lawmakers asked the president to "provide answers in his role in the Medicare issue," The Hill reports.