Democrat Senator Tom Harkin says the Bush Administration misled Congress as to the true cost of the new prescription drug benefit for seniors under Medicare. Harkin says it turns out that Congress was “just brazenly misinformed and misled as to the real cost of this new law.”Harkin says the bill passed the House and the Senate by the narrowest of margins, and a key reason it did pass was because the Bush Administration repeatedly promised the total price tag would not exceed 395 billion dollars. Harkin says the chief Medicare actuary has “blown the whistle on the White House.” That man says that last spring he told Bush Administration officials the bill would actually cost up to 535 BILLION, and his superior repeatedly threatened to fire him if he revealed that higher number to Congress. Harkin says “it is a real problem when we have an administration that time and again uses doctored facts to sell its policies to Congress and the public.” Harkin says ‘we have much of our army bogged down in Iraq today because the Administration adamantly insisted that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction” and Harkin says the country is now “saddled with a deeply flawed Medicare drug law for one reason: the Bush Administration went to great lengths to conceal its true cost.” Harkin says the Medicare prescription drug bill was passed under “false pretenses” and it’s time to have a new vote on the bill. Iowa’s other U.S. Senator, republican Charles Grassley, was a chief architect of the prescription drug benefit plan that passed Congress last year.
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