WASHINGTON – One day after former Clinton administration official Webb Hubbell sounded off against a proposed Medicare rule change in a WND commentary, the Obama administration dropped plans to restrict access to antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.
In a stunning reversal, the Department of Health and Human Services killed the proposal a day after the official comment period ended and a day before the House of Representatives was set to vote on a bill to block the change.
In a letter to members of Congress, the department said it recognized “the complexities of these issues and stakeholder input” and declared that it “does not plan to finalize the proposal at this time.”
“You have to wonder why the administration would hand the Republicans such a gift,” he wrote.
What concerned Hubbell, who served 21 months in prison in the 1990s after pleading guilty to federal charges of overbilling clients at the Rose Law Firm where he was partnered with Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster, was the DHHS plan to allow insurance companies to limit Medicare coverage for certain classes of drugs, including anti-rejection medications for transplant patients and medications to treat depression and schizophrenia in the elderly.
Hubbell said he was concerned personally about the idea because he is covered by Medicare, is a transplant survivor and takes anti-rejection medication every day.
“Here’s another reason to dump this proposal: It could cost the Democrats control of the Senate and even more losses in the House.” he says. “Republicans are already telling older and disabled Americans that the administration is ‘raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare.’ What will happen when Republican strategists figure out that the popular Medicare Part D is being altered to take life-saving medications from the disabled and elderly – just to save insurance companies money? I bet you can hear the train wreck.”
In an email, Hubbell called the development “very good news.”
Hubbell, who held the No. 3 post in Bill Clinton’s Justice Department, has a new novel coming out in May – “When Men Betray,” a political thriller about the murder of a U.S. senator in cold blood on live television. He writes a daily meditation at The Hubbell Pew.
While he no longer practices law, Hubbell is an author, lecturer and consultant. He also served as mayor of Little Rock from 1979 until 1982.
After Hubbell resigned as the third ranking official in the U.S. Justice Department and before his indictment, he received legal consulting contracts for $450,000 from various clients including $100,000 from the Chinese-connected Indonesian Riady family and $62,755 from Revlon at the recommendation of Clinton confidant and political fixer Vernon Jordan. This became the focus of an investigation by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. Starr found Hubbell “did little or no work for the money paid by his consulting clients,” but determined there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the money was intended to influence Hubbell’s cooperation with investigators in the Whitewater investigation.