Feb 19, 2001
In the year 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and Clinton signed the "Benefits Improvement and Protection Act," giving 11 billion dollars to HMO's.
These billions were given under the pretext that the HMO's would use them to increase benefits and reduce premiums for Medicare beneficiaries they enrolled.
But –surprise, surprise –only five health plans in the whole United States elected to use the money for Medicare beneficiaries.
Oh, this doesn't mean that the others didn't take the money –they all did; they just directed it to improve the balance sheets of their hospitals and to increase salaries to doctors.
According to Representative Pete Stark, Democrat from California, "We were flimflammed. We were induced to support this legislation after being told that the extra money would be used for extra benefits and lower co-payments."
If there's any "flimflamming" going on around here, it's by politicians who regularly claim to be serving the working people and the poor, while giving billions of dollars to the wealthy and the corporations.