Reports the Associated Press:
In a letter to the administration, Government Accountability Office General Counsel Lynn Gibson wrote that the nonpartisan agency remains concerned about Medicare's legal authority to undertake the $8.3 billion Medicare Advantage quality bonus program.
Launched well after the overhaul passed, the bonus program effectively restored some of the cuts that the legislation made to popular private insurance plans within the giant health care program for seniors and disabled people.
The sheer size of the bonuses immediately raised eyebrows, as did the fact that most of the money was going to plans rated about average. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, called it a wasteful political ploy.