Obama Blows $8B on Reelection Trick
'New York Post' thinks Medicare Advantage's stay of execution is a dirty trick
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2012 1:18 PM CDT
Barack Obama answers a question on his health care legislation pending before the US Supreme Court during a press conference in this file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – What would you say if President Obama took $8.3 billion in taxpayer money and used it for his reelection campaign? Because that's exactly what he's done by giving Medicare Advantage a stay of execution, according to Benjamin Sasse and Charles Hurt of the New York Post. The law, they explain, "guts" the market-oriented Medicare alternative, reducing its reimbursement rates to drive people into Medicare proper. Seniors will have to pick a plan in October—just weeks before the election.

"Nothing is more politically volatile than monkeying with the health insurance of seniors," they write. "This could make the Tea Party look like a tea party." Obama's solution? He's temporarily extending the program with billions taken from a Health and Human Services slush fund intended to pay for "experiments" in improving costs or care. Extending a long-running program hardly qualifies, Sasse and Hurt argue. "Congress should immediately launch an investigation," they write, "into this unprecedented misuse of taxpayer money and violation of the public trust." Click for their full column.