• Cloakroom Confidential: Stabenow Needs To Pick Seniors v. Lobbyists


    Life is about choices, and sooner or later, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will be forced to choose between the seniors that depend on Medicare and Social Security or the lobbyists who are getting rich off siphoning away the funds for those programs.

    Stabenow loves people to think she’s on the side of seniors. Recently, when President Obama and outgoing Speaker John Boehner struck a budget deal, Stabenow publicly raised concerns about spending cuts in the deal.

    “What worries me is in this process we continually hear proposals to cut providers in Medicare or Medicaid, which, to me, does not make sense,” she told reporters.

    When the cameras aren’t rolling, Stabenow is one of Washington’s biggest obstacles to basic fiscal accountability, endangering the very programs that she is purportedly worried about.

    For example, Stabenow has fought tooth-and-nail against an audit program that has clawed back literally billions of dollars in fraudulent Medicare payments over the past few years. The program, the Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) program, pays private auditors a portion of the funds they help Uncle Sam recoup.

    That sounds wonderful to you and me, but not to a small set of bad-actor hospitals that use these fraudulent payments to pad their profit margins.

    Regrettably, seizing on Medicare billing loopholes and other discrepancies is a full-fledged business plan for some people.

    The scale of the problem is startling with over $60 billion per year according to the Government Accountability Office. That’s a lot of money on the line, and the hospitals profiting from these packages have waged an all-out war on the RAC program and anything else trying to bring a normal accounting practices to the

    Stabenow is one of the top stooges for the anti-RAC lobbyists, making it especially rich when she sounds the alarm about protecting Social Security and Medicare.

    Not only is it bad for seniors that are Stabenow’s constituents, this is the same type of cynical self-interested dealing that has prevented real reforms from taking off, raising real questions about whether these programs will be fiscally sustainable for future generations.

    So, Sen. Stabenow: choose between protecting us – the millions of people you’re supposed to represent – and protecting the moneyed special interests that are getting rich of defrauding us. And while you’re thinking about it, lay off the indignation. It doesn’t suit you very well, considering.

    Cloakroom Confidential

    Cloakroom Confidential was a longtime Capitol Hill staffer and insider who has contacts in the House and Senate at the highest levels.

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