Bonuses for Medicare stretch law, GAO says

Care ‘demonstration’ not showing results

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“Lacking the legal authority to undertake a project of this magnitude shows how the Obama administration tried to use a technicality to sidestep Congress and write itself a blank check to spend more money for political purposes leading into this year’s elections,” said Mr. Hatch, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, who has been keeping a close eye on the matter.

Earlier this year, GAO issued a report saying the program likely was doomed to fail. In unusually stern language, the auditors urged the administration to cancel it altogether.

Wednesday’s letter went a step further in questioning the legal authority.

GAO answers to Congress and does not have independent authority to halt the demonstration project. Congress could withdraw funding, but Democrats have been wary of taking any action that would appear to undo major parts of the health law.

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