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Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Red Sox haven't won World Series since 1918; Bill Buckner solely to blame
The New York Times cites "Congressional investigators" in criticizing the Bush administration for its handling of Medicaid:
The Bush administration has allowed states to make vast changes in Medicaid but has not held them accountable for the quality of care they provide to poor elderly and disabled people, Congressional investigators said today.

The administration often boasts that it has approved record numbers of Medicaid waivers, which exempt states from some federal regulations and give them broad discretion to decide who gets what services.

But the investigators, from the General Accounting Office, said the secretary of health and human services, Tommy G. Thompson, had "not fully complied with the statutory and regulatory requirements" to monitor the quality of care under such waivers.
Damn Republicans. Always deregulating and such without any concern for the results. Right? Well, sort of...
More than a dozen state waiver programs covering tens of thousands of people have gone more than a decade without any federal review of the quality of care, the accounting office said. These programs were in Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
In addition to blaming George Bush for things that happened years before he took office, the Times also significantly distorts the findings of the GAO report:
The accounting office examined 15 of the largest waivers, covering services to 266,700 elderly people in 15 states and found problems with the quality of care in 11 of the programs.
In fact, while the report does touch upon some quality-of-care deficiencies, that's not the focus of the study. The report, with regard to those eleven programs, cites problems with the states' documentation of their quality assurance programs. Got that? It's actually doubly removed from an actual problem. We're not talking about problems with care, and we're not talking about problems with state quality assurance. We're talking about the states inadequately explaining their quality assurance programs to the federal government. In short, paperwork problems. Hardly seems like a huge deal.

But none of these nuances of time or details matter, when you're the New York Times and you're out to criticize the Bush administration.

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