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.
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
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,
3. "Bush administration ordered Medicare plan
cost estimates withheld", Knight Ridder, 03/11/2004,
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,
Posted: March 13, 2004