GAO Finds Bush "Video News Releases" Broke Law
The General Accounting Office ruled today that the Bush administration violated federal law when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did not identify itself as the sponsor of a series of "video news releases" praising the new Medicare drug benefit.
The GAO said that the government had violated the Anti-deficiency Act's ban against "materials that are self-aggrandizing, purely partisan in nature, or covert as to source," according to the report.
Senator John Kerry released the following statement about the GAO's findings:
"Today's GAO decision that the Administration inappropriately used the Medicare Trust Fund for political advertisements is another example of how this White House has misrepresented its Medicare plan. From its inception, this bill has been a boondoggle for the drug companies and has been burdened by scandal after scandal. It's too bad that this Administration spends Medicare funds on convincing seniors that its failed drug card will give them real discounts instead of actually providing our seniors with real relief.
"America's seniors deserve a president who will ensure access to low-cost, safe prescription drugs - not a president who uses taxpayer dollars to try to pull the wool over their eyes."
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By DickBell on May 19, 2004 at 10:37 PM
May 22, '04
"Willful violations of the law carry a criminal penalty of up to two years and a fine of up to $5,000, but the violations in question weren't found to be willful, Polling said."
" William Pierce, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Medicare agency, said it was the department's view that it was up to the TV stations to inform viewers about the news spots' source. "
This is March news, according this article it wasn't "willful".
Last edit by mkue on May 22, '04