As reported in an article
in Thursday's NY Times
by Robert Pear, Congress' watchdog agency, the GAO
, reported Wednesday
that the Bush Administration's ads last year misrepresented the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Nice to seem some recognition of the intellectually corrupt campaign waged by the Bushites on this issue, though I am not at all persuaded the mendacity was different in degree or kind from previous Administrations, Democrat and Republican alike, on Social Security and Medicare issues.
Interesting side note, for what it's worth. The headline on Thursday's Washington Post story by Ceci Connolly will read, "Medicare Marketing Within Legal Bounds, GAO Says." On the Pear article, the Times went with this head: "A Watchdog Sees Flaws in Bush's Ads on Medicare." Both accurate, as far as they go . . .
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson jumped on this story fast, issuing a statement
that emphasized the positive in the GAO's report: "We are encouraged that the General Accounting Office (GAO) has affirmed our efforts to educate seniors about the new benefits being offered in Medicare, including help paying for prescription drugs. GAO confirmed that the law mandates us to educate seniors and that our ads are not political. The GAO report makes clear our responsibility to inform seniors. We feel a great responsibility to make sure seniors understand the new benefits and how they might help them."
The Biloxi Sun Herald probably got it more right than either the Times or the Post: "GAO says Medicare ads not misleading enough to be pulled."
As I've written here on more than one -- hell, more than ten -- occasions, the Medicare reform bill was bloated, deeply flawed, insufficiently protective of seniors' interest, and more expensive than we can afford. It figures that even the GAO sees that we were sold a bill of goods by the Administration on this one.