Neil: All right. We’re just minutes away from a deadline showdown in D.C. 5:00 Eastern time. “When Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is threatening to subpoena the administration if it does not hand over documents on the $8 billion Medicare bonus program. Congressman says the program is used to cover up the real cost of the healthcare law, perhaps by the election. Did the department meet the deadline? Let’s ask the chairman of the government oversight reform committee who joins us now. Any reaction? Any answer?
Issa: Neil, I flew back to be here for the discovery we expected to have. A few moments ago I got reams of paper that looks like this, if you can see it. Basically, somebody hit a button and said “print out a bunch of spreadsheets in an illegible format and deliver it.” They could have given it to us digitally. And they not promising to give us anything more until October. We’ll be issuing a subpoena in order to make it clear that compliance according to the rules that have long been set up for discovery need to happen. More importantly…
Neil: Tell us what you fear or what you want proof is nothing happening.
Issa: First, let me explain these funds are not funds that Congress appropriated. This special project that is going to back fill hundreds of billions of dollars a year worth of what them Obamacare took out of Medicare is in fact a little ploy to get around appropriations and get around admitting that Obamacare is defunding Medicare advantaged and other programs. So as a result, this is not something Congress actually appropriated. This is something that was envisioned for small projects where they couldn’t come to Congress but they wanted to do the tests. This is larger than every test they’ve done combined. It is clearly a $9 billion, $8 billion back door way of spending money. But more importantly what we asked them for five months ago in May was how did you make this decision? What was the procedure? What justifying having the actual tests in order! To test? Only today, only on threat of subpoena did they deliver a lot of paper. Thousands of pages of simply spreadsheets that aren’t responsive.
Neil: How would — I understand. How would this program, whatever you call it, hide the real cost of healthcare? What does it do?
Issa: What they are essentially saying is, as the test is going to fund what Obamacare took away, it’s that simple. You are going to see dollars going in, that almost equal what was taken away. Remember that Obamacare was the supposed to be not tax costing but by back filling this –
Neil: Where is the money coming from?
Issa: That is the interesting thing. Congress authorizes this as unappropriated funds that can be spent to run these tests — this is supposed to be about tests of efficiency. That is the amazing thing. Obamacare says the programs aren’t efficient and now they are doing test to refund them. It’s an unbelievable abuse of power, and abuse of a law that Congress put there in order to have freedom to do some tests, but they never envisioned hundreds of millions nationally. The test could have been done in one small part of the country. It’s not a test, it’s very clearly a way to backdoor, be able to say we took care of seniors, while in fact spending money that was never appropriated.