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POLICY: Scully guilty, but not legally, with BRIEF UPDATE

In a splitting of hairs in a report from the HHS inspector general, Tom Scully the administrator of CMS when the Medicare bill was passed, was found guilty essentially of lying to Congess. In fact while Scully pressured the main CMS actuary so that he didn’t reveal that the MMA would cost more than $500 billion rather than the $400bn that the Administration told Congress, he didn’t break the law in doing so.

The irony of all this is that despite the huge pressure the Administration and the leadership brought to bear mostly on House conservatives to vote for the bill, its passage has probably been a negative for the Administration, and will probably be a liability come November.

UPDATE: While neither this story nor the related ongoing enquiry into the bribery on the floor of the House while the bill was being voted on, probably won’t make much difference in real life (i.e. the election), The NY Times report on this story has a couple of juicy factoids:

    In recent weeks, Mr. Scully has registered as a lobbyist for major drug companies, including Abbott Laboratories and Aventis; for Caremark Rx, a pharmacy benefit manager; and for the American Chiropractic Association and the American College of Gastroenterology, among other clients. All are affected by the new Medicare law, which Mr. Scully helped write.

And Pete Stark gets his snide oar in there.

    Representative Pete Stark of California, the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, said, "It sounds as though the Bush administration examined itself and found it did nothing wrong."

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