Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

August 9, 2010

Medicare ‘Waste, Fraud, and Abuse’

by Brad Warbiany

Obama on Saturday:

“We’ve made Medicare more solvent by going after waste, fraud, and abuse – not by changing seniors’ guaranteed benefits”

Really? And how aggressively have you been “going after” them?

It took private sleuths hired by Medicare an average of six months last year to refer fraud cases to law enforcement.

According to congressional investigators, the exact average was 178 days. By that time, many cases go cold, making it difficult to catch perpetrators, much less recover money for taxpayers.

A recent inspector general report also raised questions about the contractors, who play an important role in Medicare’s overall effort to combat fraud.

Out of $835 million in questionable Medicare payments identified by private contractors in 2007, the government was only able to recover some $55 million, or about 7 percent, the report found.

Medicare overpayments – they can be anything from a billing error to a flagrant scam – totaled more than $36 billion in 2009, according to the Obama administration.

7%, huh? That’s about the percentage of people in the Obama administration who’ve actually held a real private-sector job!

PS – Numbers are tricky, but the article states that in 2007, $55M was recovered. The article also states that in 2005, the contractors were paid over $100M. Even when they’re looking for waste they appear to be creating more waste!

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