Excellent summary of the Medicare reform-law mess
in today's Miami Herald
. Up-to-date details on all pending investigations, and this observation:
But less than four months after he signed it into law on Dec. 8, Bush's Medicare-reform dream has turned into a nightmare and a potential drag on his bid for re-election.
-- The Bush administration deliberately didn't tell Congress that the measure could cost more than $100 billion more than advertised.
-- House Republican leaders abused House rules to push the measure to a narrow victory. There are also allegations of threats and bribes that are under investigation.
-- The Bush administration spent millions of taxpayer dollars on public service TV ads touting the Medicare reform law that look suspiciously like Bush campaign commercials. Those, too, are now under investigation.
-- Polls show that a majority of Americans don't like the Medicare reforms.
"It's something that's eating away at the credibility of the administration in an election year on a bill that he (Bush) thought was a building block for his re-election," said Stephen Hess, a political analyst for the Brookings Institution, a centrist think tank, and a former aide to President Eisenhower.
You can say that again. In fact, the NY Times
did, in today's editorial
: "Credibility is indeed at the heart of the matter — not only for the media, but also for an administration intent on spinning its way toward November."