Giving Congress the mushroom treatment

So it turns out that the Administration knew when the Congress passed what its officials were describing as a $400 billion Medicare bill that its own actuary had estimated that the cost would be more than $500 billion. (Current estimate: $534 billion.) And it’s pretty clear that there wouldn’t have been enough votes for the bill if an honest figure had been put forward. (Yes, the actual figure was floating around, but keeping it unofficial gave the swing voters deniability.)

Tommy Thompson is taking so much heat for this he now plans a formal investigation by the HHS Inspector General. Good. And the HHS IG is no longer Janet Rehnquist. Doubleplusgood.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: