The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which might administer this system, didn’t reply to a request for remark. CMS Administrator Seema Verma had urged workers to finalize the plan earlier than the election, two officers stated.
A White House official stated the plan, which Trump abruptly unveiled final month, is being voluntarily delayed till after Election Day to dispel the notion that it was politically motivated.
“The program is approved and moving forward,” the White House official stated on Friday. “Cards will be sent out in the months of November and December,” including that every one the cards would arrive by the top of the yr.
Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office has agreed to overview this system’s legality, in accordance with a letter that GAO despatched to Democratic lawmakers on Friday.
“It has been clear from the very beginning that this program is a political stunt,” stated Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Senate Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in a joint assertion. “With GAO now investigating potential misuse of taxpayer funds, the administration had better come to its senses and scrap this highly suspect program.”
The plan has come underneath growing scrutiny since POLITICO three weeks in the past detailed officers’ hasty efforts to meet the president’s promise, together with a proposal to spend $19 million to ship letters touting this system to 39 million seniors in October.
The well being division’s prime lawyer warned in an inner memo that the plan might violate the legislation by utilizing taxpayer funds in such a style so near Election Day and advisable that the Justice Department overview the proposal.
Trump abruptly introduced the drug-discount plan final month, in a shock to a few of his personal well being deputies, as administration officers sought to shore up the president’s ballot numbers with seniors.
“Nobody has seen this before. These cards are incredible,” Trump stated on Sept. 24, vowing that the cards “will be mailed out in coming weeks.”
“I will always take care of our wonderful senior citizens,” the president added. “Joe Biden won’t be doing this.”
But Trump has scarcely talked about the cards since, touting them solely at a speech to senior residents in Florida two weeks in the past.
Dan Diamond – www.politico.com