Did HHS Bury the CMS Actuary Report?

by Benjamin Domenech on 9:10 am April 27, 2010

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Some corners of the internet are buzzing today about this American Spectator story, claiming that HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius buried the latest CMS actuary report under a rock until after Congress voted.

Sorry, but like so many other items to emerge over the years from “The Prowler” — essentially, where AmSpec sticks items with no named sources — I just do not believe this is an accurate description of what happened. A couple of reasons:

-The idea that HHS would go into what the source describes as “lockdown” over a report which essentially says the same thing prior CMS reports said (once more, with feeling) is ludicrous.
-There’s a good 25% of the report in question which couldn’t have been written “more than a week” in advance of the House vote, because it outlines portions handled via reconciliation which were quite unclear at the time.
-It’s not like CMS lacks the ability to leak something to the press if they really wanted to in advance of the vote.
-Red herring: CMS’s position is never the official position of an Administration.

Is it possible Sebelius’ staff did this? Of course. But get multiple sources, or I don’t believe it.

Update: Jake Tapper talked to the Medicare actuary, and guess what: he says it’s totally false. He didn’t even have the bill in its analytical form until March 18th. Total bupkus from “The Prowler” once again.

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