Some 48 million Americans rely on Medicare for health coverage. Yet, this program is subject to enormous fraud and abuse. Barry Rand, the CEO of AARP, estimates that Medicare and Medicaid combined lose some $100 billion per annum to fraud. Even the GAO has designated Medicare to be a high risk program in need of serious reform.
“For too long, anti-fraud efforts have been based on a ‘pay and chase’ system under which bills are paid and then law enforcement has to chase down the claimants of inaccurate – or dishonestly obtained – payments. This is a recipe for disaster, since the federal government will never recapture even a fraction of the money unwittingly sent to crooks and fraudsters. A much better approach is to stop inaccurate payments from being sent out.” George LeMieux, ’Lots of Talk, Little Action on Medicare Fraud’, The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2012
Actions recently taken by the Obama administration to counter-act Medicare fraud have turned out to be counter-productive. Bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services awarded $77 million in 2011 to contractors Northrop Grumman and Verizon to implement a fraud-prevention system. Unfortunately neither contractors area of expertise lies in this field. In the first eight months, this outlay has netted $7,591 in suspended payments. Surely the time has come to suspend payments to such lousy contractors.
Time to roll; up those shirt- sleeves, President Obama, for more than squeezing flesh on the campaign trail. Time to stop squandering taxpayers money by throwing it into the hands of Medicare crooks and fraudsters and into the deep pockets of government contractors who have no idea whatsoever how to abort such waste.