Richard Foster on the Medicare Part D debacle
On Tuesday, I wrote about Richard Foster, Medicare's chief actuary and the number-cruncher who saw his estimates suppressed by the Bush administration during the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit debate. Today, he writes in with a bit more context from that sordid episode:
In your recent article, you stated that "Despite believing the demand was 'inappropriate' and 'unethical,' Foster, after consulting with an HHS lawyer who told him that Scully could indeed make good on his threat, buried the report.
In actuality, the HHS lawyer told me that Mr. Scully had the legal right to order me not to release the estimates to Congress. I complied with that order, based on this advice, but simultaneously tried everything I could to get the estimates released, including going over Mr. Scully's head within HHS. The key point is, I acted as I did in the belief that the order was legal (even if inappropriate) -- not because I was afraid of being fired.
A year later, after a lengthy investigation, GAO issued a legal opinion that the order was not, in fact, legal.
A fuller description of all that went on is available in my article for Contingencies magazine (see http://www.contingencies.org/novdec04/coverstory.pdf).
Posted by: hazelrah | November 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: steveh46 | November 18, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse
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