Health agency faces lawsuit for withholding cost estimates of Medicare reform law

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Nineteen Democratic members of the House Committee on Government Reform filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against the Department of Health and Human Services for refusing to release cost estimates for the new Medicare reform law.

The motive of the lawsuit is to force HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson to hand over Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster's cost estimates for the law. Tommy Thompson sent a letter last month to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) refusing a request to release the information.

According to Office of Management and Budget estimates released after Congress passed the legislation, the Medicare law is projected to cost $534 billion over the next decade. That's $134 billion more than estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.