Darrell Issa is probably the second most important Republican to watch these days, next to Mitt Romney, given the task before him on the House Oversight Committee to get to the bottom of questionable actions by the Obama Administration, first on what happened in Libya, and secondly on what the administration is doing to Medicare Advantage. The latter appears to be an attempt to fool seniors in order to win the election.
Fox News reports that Issa has been forced to issue a subpoena after Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, failed to turn over legible and organized documents related to Medicare Advantage. It seems likely that her failure to provide information is an attempt to buy time before election day so that seniors will not find out the true nature of the effect of Obamacare on Medicare.
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa on Friday formally notified Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that he intends to issue a subpoena for health department documents on a program he claims is being used to “buy” the election by hiding the effects of ObamaCare.
The Department of Health and Human Services handed over reams of material just minutes before a 5 p.m. ET deadline Thursday in response to Issa’s demand 24 hours earlier. However, Issa’s office called the cache “embarrassing,” insufficient and not responsive to the congressman’s request.
“Basically somebody hit a button and said print out a bunch of spreadsheets in an illegible format,” Issa told Fox News. “So we will be issuing the subpoena.”
You may recall that document shredding is something we’re used to reading about in stories about Sebelius, so the dumping of illegible spreadsheets five minutes before the House Oversight Committee’s deadline is not anything that surprises me in the slightest. What is most troubling, however, is that it seems this potential cover-up is intended to prevent America’s senior citizens from finding out the truth about the impact of Obamacare on Medicare Advantage. It does not seem outside the realm of reason to suggest the possibility that the election is being bought in the sense that bonuses are being paid to keep Medicare Advantage plans going only until 2014, which would be the middle of Obama’s second term if he were to be re-elected.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee effectively is accusing the department of stringing them along for months in their request for documents about an $8 billion program that pays bonuses to Medicare Advantage plans.
Issa claims the bonus program is being used to mask the first round of Medicare Advantage cuts in connection with the health care overhaul — in order to win favor with seniors.
“It’s an unbelievable abuse of power,” he said Thursday. Issa said the program basically funds “what ObamaCare took away.”
The program in question is called a “demonstration” project. But Issa complains the project is far more sweeping than a run-of-the-mill test program, and conveniently lasts until 2014.
We’d like to think that the Obama Administration cares about seniors and that this is just a big misunderstanding, but unfortunately, given the fact that Sebelius is known to play fast and loose with investigators when it comes to documents, and given that she waited until the last minute only to dump reams of illegible material onto the committee, and given the fact that the numbers do seem to show that Obama has robbed Medicare Advantage to fund Obamacare, it seems that the only thing the Obama Administration has to offer for seniors is platitudes and half-truths on the campaign trail, and outright audacity in the halls of Congress.