Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The "Heckuva Job" Administration Strikes Again

By Cernig

Over at Raw Story, they have a tale that has every element we've come to know and loathe from the Bush maladministration - corruption, cronyism, cover-ups, lack of diligence and even faith-based witchdoctory masquerading as science.
Appointed by President George W. Bush in late 2006 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Eric J. Keroack resigned unexpectedly in March of this year after Massachusetts officials launched a formal investigation into allegations of Medicaid fraud during his tenure in private practice.
Bush administration officials often cited Keroack's 20 years in private practise and his time as medical director for a chain of Christian pregnancy centers as showing he had the perfect qualifications for his job.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, Dr. Keroack was responsible for a $283 million budget and charged with running a federal agency overseeing women’s health issues such as screening for cervical and breast cancer, contraception planning, pregnancy counseling and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
But Raw Story did some digging and discovered that Keroack couldn't possibly have been in practise for 20 years, since he only qualified in 1993 and had let his certification lapse by 2005, a full year before his appointment.
When Dr. Keroack took stewardship of Population Affairs in 2006, Massachusetts’ medical licensing board had already spent roughly a year reviewing a complaint that he had violated ethical norms by prescribing medications for people who weren’t his patients, had practiced outside of his area of specialty and had attempted to defraud the insurance system.

Massachusetts medical board spokesman Randal Aims said late last week that when a complaint is filed against a physician, the doctor is allowed to respond in writing. In Keroack’s Sept. 18, 2005 response, in which he defended himself against the allegation that he was not qualified to provide counseling, he indicated that he had not been in practice for “over 5-years.”

...This indicates that as of 2005, Keroack had withdrawn from practicing clinical medicine at least five years earlier, suggesting that the duration of his tenure in private practice was roughly five years.
So from 20 years to five, and with complainst of malpractise to boot!

Moreover, the Christian pregnancy group, A Woman’s Concern, has no tax records which mention him during the time he was supposedly their medical director. Their director told Raw Story that Keroack was only a part-time volunteer with the organization and simultaneously rented an office at one of their facilities.

When they asked Dept. of Health and Human Services' Christine Pearson how HHS had confirmed Keroack's resume, she replied:
“I have never had a copy of his resume nor am I aware of any press releases, pre-hiring announcements or press releases pertaining to his acts while he was in office,”...Asked to explain how she knew how long Dr. Keroack had been in practice, Pearson explained that he had personally told her of his qualifications.
So why did such a person get selected to run a multi-million dollar budget agency? Here's a hint:
Though he has no formal research credentials, Dr. Keroack has lectured widely from a PowerPoint presentation that uses Loony Tunes characters to illustrate his theory that premarital sex damages the female brain, making non-abstinent women incapable of forming emotional bonds...His appointment did not require confirmation from Congress.
There are some big stories out there today, most notably the continuing Iraq funding saga, last night's Republican debate and the shocking revelations of former Deputy AG James Comey to Congress. That pretty much guarantees that few will notice Raw Story's excellent work here. Which is a pitty, because it spotlights a case which really is a microcosm of this entire "heckuva job" administration.

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