Thursday, May 20, 2004

GAO Calls Medicare Ads Illegal

Not that it matters. The "Executive" Branch ignores them anyway:

Bush administration TV ads to promote changes in Medicare's prescription drug coverage broke two federal laws because they were disguised as news reports but didn't identify who was sponsoring them, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress has ruled.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) said the ads, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, did not make it clear that the announcers were paid by HHS and weren't real correspondents, the Washington Post reported.

The GAO's 16-page opinion says the ads violated a federal law that bars the use of federal funds for propaganda, and a separate statute that covers unauthorized use of federal monies. The ruling doesn't carry legal weight, however.

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