Why Obama's Crackdown on Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Will Fail

It may be the biggest long-running scam in America. Medicare and Medicaid fraud - estimated at somewhere between $60 billion to well over $100 billion a year - makes credit card fraud look like petty theft. Even the illegal drug business takes in less than the crime of scamming the government out of health care dollars intended for the poor and the elderly. Indeed, the annual amount of fraud dwarves the amount of new yearly spending on health care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. Obamacare.

Between the ACA and stimulus money, President Barack Obama has committed a half-billion dollars to fighting fraud. New tools, such as strike forces and a computer system that’s modeled on technology used in the private sector, promise to stop fraud in its tracks.

In February, the Health and Human Services Department announced a record recovery of more than $4 billion. But three-quarters of this year’s record recovery stems from the resolution of a lawsuit that began a decade ago, for fraud first committed during the Clinton administration.

Will the Obama adminstration's new efforts finally put a stop to America’s biggest crime? Or will the feds - who have dedicated and rededicated themselves to stopping such fraud for more than 40 years - fail yet again?

Reason TV talks with the National Association of Medicaid Directors' Matt Salo, former director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Thomas Scully, and Reason magazine's Peter Suderman, who agree that despite recent headlines, there's little reason to think that Medicare and Medicaid fraud will become a thing of the past.

About 6 minutes.

Produced by Todd Krainin. Camera by Meredith Bragg, Josh Swain, and Krainin. Narrated by Nick Gillespie.

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  • Almanian!||

    Why Obama's Crackdown on Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Will Fail

    Because fuck you, that's why?

    You know who else failed in a crackdown...

  • $park¥||

    Jon Voight and Ned Beatty?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Nurse Ratched?

  • C. Anacreon||

    Paulie Krug-Nuts-in-the-Shell?

  • Sevo||

    Silvia M. Burgess| 3.3.13 @ 4:31AM |#
    "my buddy's aunt makes $72 every hour on the laptop."

    That's a lap DANCE, you idiot!

  • InlineSkate||

    Working in the medical field their attempts to cut fraud appear to only raise costs and divert time away from other things such as actually caring for patients.

    In nursing homes at least nurses spend all shift charting on Medicaid patients many times having to work 4 - 6 hours over their shift costing hundreds of dollars in overtime.

  • InlineSkate||

    Medicare*

  • C. Anacreon||

    Yup. And they've just brought in a bunch of crappy new coding numbers and rules that are making all that worse. More time looking at the monitor, much less face time with your patient.

    One thing I wonder when they say $60-100 billion in fraud -- if they can't catch it, how do they even know that figure is accurate? Perhaps there really isn't that much fraud, perhaps there's only $5 billion a year, and they are actually catching a good chunk of it?

    I think there are often very inflated numbers when our government talks about medical statistics and this could be yet another.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Nice effort by the Wildcats. But alas, the Buckeyes prevailed.

  • C. Anacreon||

    The team had some hope early this year, but we lost four starters for the entire season to injury -- about as bad as luck can get. I don't think we've won a game since we went down to just 2nd and 3rd stringers playing. Our BB program is snakebitten, but this year is probably the worst example. And of course, it had to happen in the year the B1G is the strongest it has ever been.

  • grey||

    SNF's have more pages of regulation than nuclear power plants. So what we need is.....more regulations. What does a SNF administrator do? Basically a full time government compliance officer. Medicare and Medicaid have all but destroyed our senior care industry.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What a bunch of negative nellies in that video.

  • Rhino||

    So, if Doctors can't be trusted to be honest with a government health care program, what makes these politicians believe that criminals will turn in assault rifles or won't find a black market to get banned weapons?

  • InlineSkate||

    "Greater good"

  • Alphonse||

    As if Obama could ever fail at anything ever. I need to start drinking again.

  • Sevo||

    Question for you med pros:
    How much 'fraud' is typos on forms or similar? IOWs, how much is the problem hyperbole.

  • FucktheNannyState||

  • Certified Financial Advisor||

    This very disappointing that, even system which is formed for welfare of old age and poor people are getting scammed to fill own pockets. This must stop, why people should suffer from such things. People who did such things must be punished.

  • SiliconDoc||

    The democrat's Mob is on it, you miss that part ? Now the Mob has lawyers as mobsters - and 100 Billion goes a long way to campaign contributions for the retreads in Congress... I mean it pays for everything and then some...

    So when 500Billion a year is the approximate outlay, and 20% is the theft, Congress, the bureaucracy, and all the sticky fingers up and down the line could not be happier !

    Think of a 100 BILLION dollar yearly "sequester" that directly impacts campaign kickbacks and local DOLLAR PIG TROUGHS the pols feed at regularly...

    Ain't gonna happen - the WASTE is a political kickback and contribution boom, keeps organized crime busy in white cloth pursuits, keeps hose cocktail parties and hookers happy, and they can all get together and schmooze each other about what loving and caring and sickly rich individuals they are padding up each others pockets while caring for others...

  • fresno dan||

    Years ago, after I got out of the Air Farce, I worked at the IRS service center in ...Fresno.
    Well, one of the biggest scams was fake tax refunds.
    But what was amazing was the number of fraudulent tax refunds sent to...
    wait for it...
    wait some more....

    federal prisons...
    to guys serving time...
    for getting fraudulent tax refunds.

  • abercrombie brussel||

    I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information.

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