It doesn't seem to be making many headlines, but this says it all about the role of policy versus politics for this administration:
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.
Not only do they lie to Congress, but then they threaten to fire people who want to pass to Congress actual information so that Congress can have an actual debate about the policy. And, notes the article, it's not illegal. News flash: there are these things called ethics. They tell you what's right and wrong. You should find some. 'Kay?
One of the monstrously worrying things about this administration is the unbelievably large amount of bad precedent being set for future administrations. And this is serious, constitutional shit. Where are the checks and balances if the Executive can force the bureacracy to lie and withhold information from Congress, and the courts can't get information out of them either?
Oh, and later on in the article, the Times notes that the HHS official who did the threatening has left HHS and is now, suprise!, a lobbist for, suprise!, the some drug companies and pharmacy associations. Nope, no conflict of interest here.
Out.Posted by baltar at July 7, 2004 10:57 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Politics