Democrats call for independent investigation into Scully's threats

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A handful of Democrats requested an independent investigation after the Health and Human Services inspector general's office determined former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Tom Scully did not commit a criminal law when he pressured Chief Actuary Richard Foster to withhold a higher cost estimate for the Medicare reform law. Among those seeking an investigation include Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who called the report released Tuesday by Health and Human Services inspector general's office "regrettable."

Scully reportedly threatened Foster with termination if Foster released his $524 billion cost estimate over 10 years, compared with the $395 billion estimate the Bush administration projected. More than a dozen Republicans had said they would not approve legislation, which narrowly passed in December, if the cost exceeded $400 billion.

However, Foster "had no authority to disclose information independently to Congress," according to the report.