Medicare Fraud Bust at Least Gave Holder Something Good to Report

Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t intend to have a press conference today about the Department of Justice secretly collecting call records from Associated Press reporters and editors and the IRS asking inappropriate questions of conservative 501(c)4 groups. In actuality, he came out to crow about a massive Medicare fraud bust. If only anybody cared. The AP reports (no hard feelings, it seems) on what Holder had to say before the reporters started asking questions:

Nearly 100 people, including 14 doctors and nurses, were charged for their roles in separate Medicare scams that collectively billed the taxpayer-funded program for roughly $223 million in bogus charges in a massive bust spanning eight cities, federal authorities said Tuesday.

It was the latest in a string of similar announcements by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder as federal authorities crack down on fraud that’s believed to cost the program between $60 billion and $90 billion each year. Stopping Medicare’s budget from hemorrhaging that money will be key to paying for President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Sebelius and Holder partnered in 2009 to increase enforcement by allocating more money and staff and creating strike forces in fraud hot spots around the country.

That sounds like lovely news, until you do the math and realize this massive bust accounts for not even one half of a percent of the amount of annual fraud the federal government believes takes place. It’s the health care equivalent of holding a press conference over some drug interdiction bust that looks impressive with all those stacks of pot bricks and guns and whatever but accomplishes actually nothing due to massive the scope of the drug trade.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Quite frankly, at this point, I have doubt the people Justice busted did what Holder's prosecutors claim they did.

  • Sevo||

    "Quite frankly, at this point, I have doubt the people Justice busted did what Holder's prosecutors claim they did."

    How many of these are '"fraud" in that the information required on line 19 got entered on line 18?

  • ||

    I guess the alt-text is letting us know they're teetotallers.

  • Tman||

    The real question is, how many dogs were shot during the investigation?

  • ||

    "Quick, drum up something to take the heat off us!"

    "It's not working!!!"

    "Send in Carney! He's always good for a laugh!"

  • Pro Libertate||

    Bomb something! Hurry! Sex scandal, anyone? Where's Clinton?

  • Tman||

    "Welease Wodewick!"

  • Dweebston||

    Drug interdiction has the sole effect of temporarily boosting prices on the street and thereby making future drug running even more lucrative. The DOJ's fraud bust presumably takes 14 doctors and nurses and dozens of support staffers out of practice for the duration of the investigation, if not permanently.

    I'll not be singing the Department's praises into my bourbon tonight.

  • Boba||

    Their real crime was not donating enough to Democrats. If you are going to do the crime, pay the tribute. I wish I was joking.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think it was Rudy who went after welfare fraud way back when in NY. He was if course decrued by the left as a heartless bastard at the time. If I recall correctly about half of all welfare payments in NY at that time were fraud.

  • PapayaSF||

    When "Care Not Cash" went into effect in San Francisco in 2004, cutting $400/month payouts to $59/month plus food and shelter, there were cries that the homeless would be starving in the streets. Turned out that many of them were coming into the city once a month for the payouts, from as far away as Reno, Nevada.

  • Sevo||

    $400 buys a Greyhound ticket from a long ways off! If you want to encourage an activity, subsidize it! Only thing Newsome ever did that was worth beans, and I'm sure it came from a staffer.
    Look at the Am. Cup debacle; Newsome was a deer in the headlights dealing with Elisons's crew.

  • WomSom||

    Sometimes man, you jsut have to smack it good. Wow.

    www.Proxy-Anon.tk

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