$44 billion paid in Medicare fraud could cover sequester cuts

medicare fraud

Agents from the Office of the Inspector General moving in on a clinic suspected of engaging in Medicare fraud.
photo credit medicare handbook.org

According to a recent report released to Congress, almost 8 percent of Medicare payments during 2012 were the result of fraud, waste or abuse.

The Government Accounting Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress. As such, it prepares a risk list at each congressional session targeting governmental waste, fraud and abuse. It’s findings relative to Medicare are sobering.

In 2012, Medicare “covered more than 49 million elderly and disabled beneficiaries at an estimated cost of $555 billion, and reported improper payments estimated to be more than $44 billion,” the report stated according to CNSNews.

$44 billion is 7.93 percent of $555 billion. At that rate, if the government were a private enterprise, it would have been out of business a long time ago. Business wouldn’t be able to survive with that kind of a record, and consumers couldn’t afford it.

A few months back, my bank both sent me an email and phoned me about a suspected fraudulent $2.50 charge. Banks operate under a razor-thin profit margin thanks to government regulations — most recently the Dodd-Frank Act.

Therefore, banks owe a duty to both their shareholders and their customers to keep an eye out for fraud, no matter how insignificant. It’s too bad the government couldn’t learn to do thew same.

If government kept a closer eye on our money, very likely we wouldn’t have a $16.4 trillion national debt.

Read more at CNS News.

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