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from Daily Mislead
March 12,

During this time of record deficits, President Bush promised the country that his drug-industry backed Medicare bill would cost $395 billion. (1) But just weeks after he signed the bill into law, his own budget office admitted that the bill would actually cost well over $500 billion. (2) And today a new report shows that the President knew that the bill cost more than he had claimed, and yet he deliberately hid the information from the public until the legislation was already signed into law.

As revealed in an exclusive Knight-Ridder report, the White House threatened to fire its own top Medicare actuary "if he told lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates" that priced the bill at more than $500 billion. (3) At the time, conservative Republicans had "vowed to vote against the Medicare drug bill if it cost more than $400 billion." This means that the president deliberately misled members of his own party on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry that pushed the bill and has been a top contributor to his campaign. (4) As Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) said, "I think a lot of people probably would have reconsidered" voting for the bill had they not been deliberately misled by the White House.

At Knight-Ridder's website you can see the full text of the 6/26/03 email that Medicare's top actuary Richard S. Foster sent to colleagues informing them of the White House threat. (5)

Sources: 1. "Federal Deficit Hits Record $374B", CBS News, 10/20/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=21882.
2. "Medicare drug plan balloons", Washington Times, 01/29/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=21883.
3. "Bush administration ordered Medicare plan cost estimates withheld", Knight Ridder, 03/11/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=21884 es/printstory.jsp.
4. Open Secrets.Org, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=21885.
5. "E-mail from Richard S. Foster, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services", Knight Ridder, 03/11/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=21886.

Posted: March 13, 2004


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