Bush Administration Medicare Report Misleads

WASHINGTON – Campaign for America’s Future Co-director Roger Hickey today said the Social Security and Medicare trustees released a misleading annual report based on questionable Bush Administration figures. Hickey noted that the report reflects President Bush’s political agenda by showing that the fiscal state of Social Security and Medicare is much worse than last year.

The Bush administration’s projection that shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare systems would be nearly $50 trillion — up from $18 trillion last year — is fiction, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Bush Administration used a new method of calculating numbers called “infinite horizon” — the cost of the programs until infinity. The Center’s analysis says “projecting the state of health care and medical breakthroughs in the 24th century lies more in the realm of science fiction than hard headed policy analysis.”

The Bush Administration and Republican Congressional leaders pressed for the overhaul of Medicare last year to increase corporate profits for HMOs and drug companies. The federal government’s own projections are that private managed-care plans will cost taxpayers more than traditional Medicare for the foreseeable future.

STATEMENT OF ROGER HICKEY

It has become almost impossible to believe what the Bush administration says about Medicare.

Top Bush administration officials lied to Congress about the billions of taxpayer dollars they gave to the HMOs in the Medicare prescription drug deal. Now their cooked books show that Medicare is going broke and needs to be turned over to HMOs.

Medicare’s finances have not changed. The Bush administration simply changed the numbers.

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