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Just nineteen days until the presidential election.
And one of Obama cares most controversy -- parts could already have started kicking and affecting millions of potential voters.
But our next guest says a major copper up is in the works preventing.
Millions of dollars in cuts to seniors to be delayed.
Until after they could at cast their ballots for more Republican congressman James Lankford joins me now from Oklahoma.
Congressman let's -- this step by step that we could -- so.
Essentially you and -- -- are saying.
That the administration HHS in particular is trying to -- in this election.
By hiding the effects of Obama care how are they doing that those are strong word.
It is it's hard to explain it any other way -- and that's obamacare has a piece and -- that dramatically changes Medicare Advantage now a lot of seniors really like their Medicare Advantage program.
A lot of the folks -- better Democrats don't like it because it gives all the choice they like a single option on -- so obamacare -- a major slice of about 200 billion dollars.
Over the next ten years to Medicare Advantage.
So what they suggested that -- starts.
October the first of this year but this year immediately right before the election so what the administration did is that it was a call a demonstration projects.
Dumping eight point three billion dollars.
Into Medicare Advantage programs to start October the first of this year to get us through the election time.
It in the big cuts don't start actually until next year they delay -- cuts a year by dumping and a demonstration project this year.
RAC singer -- and that the margins.
So that seniors don't get angry and again this is a popular prescription drug program put in place while George W.
Bush was in office.
It's it's a problem that is essentially handled by the private sector it's been very successful at reducing costs.
Now musings cuts would have started this week what exactly -- seniors facing and what money and they -- -- end of this thing.
Today it's it's a very big deal it's not just prescription drug program this is the option that gives -- all the alternatives -- -- -- other options for combining the programs of Medicare together to make it simpler for them.
This is over a thousand dollars her senior and increased premiums and cuts that would happen in the Medicare Advantage beginning October of this year.
And so the push that we said is there's no other reason to explain it.
A demonstration project is legal it's typically a very small project.
That's done the test efficiency particularly budget neutral they don't cost any money they just tested this is eight point three billion dollars and give -- perspective.
The last 85 demonstration projects combines.
Would not equal eight billion dollars so you combine all the all the demonstration projects from HHS is in 1995.
Doesn't -- eight billion dollars they're dumping eight billion dollars in -- this starting this past week just to make sure all the cuts in Medicare Advantage don't happen right before the election.
And let's be clear here Medicare Advantage this money that they want to take away ultimately.
Is going into obamacare so this is funding the president's preferred.
Now the -- -- was also criticized this demonstration program -- not known for being highly critical but they are about this what are they -- GAO is that is the Government Accountability Office -- air though group actually looks of the different areas and make sure each area the executive branch is actually following through the -- They have said this eight point three billion dollars falls outside the statutes.
In other words it's not legal now they won't use of words it's not legal because.
There are standing.
But they're saying there's no statute that permits them to shift this much money into a program to do this and they have recommended its immediate termination.
GAO has never said HHS you need to terminator program this is not appropriate use of government funds until now.
So even the people on the inside that look at it -- -- used -- looking at the numbers are saying.
This does not smell right it all there's no reason to do it there's no statutory authority to do this and we can't find that it demonstrates anything a demonstration project.
Typically demonstrates efficiency this is not senate to demonstrate efficiency it's just dumping money to a program to extend it.
-- act I've got to ask you because HHS just complied.
With their request for information.
Deliberating what I understood to be reams of material reams of information he told me before that we talked.
An inch and a half of -- the documents.
Dear life has said he's gonna subpoena HHS any -- didn't -- get what you want it.
No we actually made -- request we -- a hearing on this in July we've got paralyzed and I made the formal request August the first to request documents.
They wouldn't -- two weeks later we've done multiple calls phone calls emails.
Follow up letters continue to request HHS is that tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow in fact of one point two weeks in an email to them and said.
Can we get tomorrow and they responded that we've got our fingers and toes crossed there were gonna get into tomorrow you'll -- from working overtime to get it done.
And so we expected this to come to come to come it's not coming so we threatened to subpoena on if we don't get those documents late in the day today -- -- -- about an inch and half worth of spreadsheets that are worthless information to us.
Just to say they send us something in symbols in the rest of it to you sometime late in October though we we requested this in August they're not -- us information we requested.
They're trying to stall this until after the election.
We need the information we requested in August.
So -- bureaucratic shuffle.
That Terry -- voters happy that's what you're saying and we're counting on our fingers and -- to that we understand what's going on here you guys get to the bottom of this congressman -- for -- thanks for coming on today we appreciate your time.
Thank you for follow this story.
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