GAO calling on president to nix $8B Medicare bonus program

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso reacts


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 23, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, the Government Accountability Office delivering another blow to the White House, this time on Medicare, the nonpartisan group calling to nix the administration's $8 billion so-called Medicare bonus program that it deems a costly waste.

Republicans deem it a political ploy, including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, a doctor as well.

You -- you suspect something here, Senator. What?

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, R -WY: Well, I really do, Neil.

And federal inspectors have said exactly the same thing. This is the administration has been caught trying to cover up how bad the impact of the health care law is going to be on our seniors by moving $8 billion from a slush fund into a program so that seniors won't notice until after the election how badly their Medicare Advantage program is going to be hit.

CAVUTO: Paul Ryan is getting a whacking for what he supposedly is doing to Medicare, which is fine. If the media, others want to go after him on that, that is fine.

They just don't seem to practice it the other way around. This is simple math. You can look at what is coming down the pike here, but no one in the media is.

BARRASSO: Well, I practiced medicine for 25 years taking care of the people of Wyoming, Medicare Advantage is a program that one out of four people on Medicare join into because there are advantages, coordinated care, preventive care, things like eyeglasses and ear aids that help people and their hearing aids.

So all of those things are helpful to people and that is why so many people sign up for it. But, remember, the president said if you like what you have, you can keep it. And now we know that many of those people on Medicare Advantage are not going to be able to keep it and especially today, when the Medicare trustees come out and talk about the dire situation for Medicare.

The president took $500 billion away from our seniors on Medicare to start a whole new government program for other people. And now they are trying to cover up the damage being done to Medicare with this $8 billion effort.

CAVUTO: Senator, thank you very, very much.

BARRASSO: Thank you, Neil.

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