Ronald Kessler writes in his May 6 Newsmax column regarding a Department of Heatlh and Human Services report claiming that the cost of the health care reform bill will be higher than originally estimated:
Richard S. Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare and Medicaid who prepared the report, says the reason his analysis did not come out before the bill was passed is that he “didn’t have access to the reconciliation legislation itself until it was publicly issued on March 18, which was three days before the House vote took place on March 21. Because of the complexity of the reconciliation changes, it wasn’t possible to estimate the package prior to the vote.”
In other words, the White House, which claims to endorse transparency, had no interest in telling the public the real costs of the bill until after it was passed. Otherwise, it would have made sure that Foster received the appropriate information in time to prepare an analysis.
Now it turns out Obama misled the country about a measure that affects one-fifth of the economy, yet there is no outrage except from Republicans. The news media have treated the story as a non-event.
The New York Times played the story on Foster’s report on page A8. The Washington Post and USA Today did not run a story. With the exception of Fox News, none of the networks touched it.
If Obama were a company that advertised such false claims, the Federal Trade Commission would take action. If Obama were a Republican, the news media would play his deception as a scandal.
But Obama is neither. He is a pitchman who has victimized the American people with his sham reform.
The idea that the Obama administration conspired to withhold the report until after the vote -- first promoted by an anonymous report in the American Spectator and repeated by Newsmax -- has been discredited.
Further, the report that was eventually released is, according to Time magazine, "nearly identical" to Foster's report on the Senate health reform bill -- which was issued in January. If you'll recall, the House voted on the Senate reform bill; the updated report reflects changes made in the accompanying reconciliation bill that the Senate later approved.