Thursday, July 08, 2004

If You Still Worked Here, You'd Be Fired

Gov't confirms thug tactics on Medicare:

"An internal investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services confirms that the top Medicare official threatened to fire the program's chief actuary if he told Congress that drug benefits would probably cost much more than the White House acknowledged.

But neither the threat nor the withholding of information violated any criminal law, the report said. It accepted the Justice Department's view that Mr. Scully had "the final authority to determine the flow of information to Congress.'' Moreover, it said, the actuary "had no authority to disclose information independently to Congress.'"

Mr. Scully, we learn from this story, has excellent timing:

"Mr. Scully, who resigned in December, in part to become a lobbyist for health care companies, had denied threatening Mr. Foster but had acknowledged having told him to withhold the information from Congress.

The report said that if Mr. Scully still worked for the government, he might be subject to disciplinary action for possible violation of the department's standards of ethical conduct.

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."

Thanks to reader 1soni.