Friday, June 12, 2009

Eliminating Healthcare Fraud

You'd think this would be something both parties would agree on. But as with earmarks, someone is getting all those tax dollars. If they belong to favored groups, politiciams who rely on "identy politics" will scream to protect them. And, hey, maybe the 55 guys NY gave maturnity benefits to really were pregnant. If they were taxpayers, Congress is the father. ~Bob

Gingrich and Frogue: Congress Must Eliminate Fraud
By Newt Gingrich and Jim Frogue

Special to Roll Call

Congress is kicking off the most significant health care debate in a generation. Everything must be on the table. Our current system is an expensive, frustrating mess where patients and doctors feel increasingly powerless. Doing more of the same but with bigger subsidies will be as effective as the General Motors bailouts.

While there are major partisan divides over how to permanently restructure our health care system, there is one key area where Democrats and Republicans should be working together: fighting health care fraud. Everyone agrees that fraud should be stopped, and most agree that tackling fraud effectively would yield savings well into the tens of billions of dollars annually. Instead of punishing doctors with lower payments and penalizing patients with reduced access, let’s cut off the crooks.

Last month, Harvard professor Malcolm Sparrow, author of the seminal “License to Steal,” testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that health care fraud and abuse could amount to as much as $500 billion annually. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a physician, believes that a full third of all health spending is wasted on defensive medicine, paperwork and outright fraud. Considering that $2.5 trillion will be spent on health care this year, he is talking about a figure in excess of $800 billion per year.

FedEx and UPS allow customers to track in real time 23 million moving packages every day at no extra charge. That is the modern world. But when it comes to health care, no state can even tell you how many people its Medicaid program supported in 2008. Miami-Dade County has more licensed home health care agencies than the entire state of California. New York Medicaid recently paid for maternity benefits for 55 men, according to Inspector General Jim Sheehan.

There are endless other examples of equal absurdity.

Read it all here:


  1. This is proof that the government cannot run anything efficiently, and now Obama wants to put the health care system under its purview. Huckabee stated today that there has to be a better way to insure the 15 million that are currently uninsured, rather than redoing the whole system. The old adage the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" stands here.

  2. Great article, and people want to know why I am against the gov't running anything other than the military. I don't even want to think of the problems that will exist as our government starts to nationalize even more industries. If Medicade can't figure out men are supposed to get Maternity benefits what do you think will happen when the government runs everything?

  3. The shame of it all is that corruption is running rampant. It is in every form of our day to day life, unfortunately.
    I believe that in order to stay somewhat on an even keel, we have to start with Washington, if you look at the last 10 years or so, I feel it is almost out of control.

    Take a present case, not the only or the most blatant, but one that I just noticed and with the main stream media just sitting on the side lines.

    Sen. Dick Durban of IL, sitting in on a CLOSED DOOR meeting with then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on 18 Sep, these two requested the closed door meeting. The very next day, 19 Sep, Sen. Dick Durban dumps $42,696 on mutual funds and then buys $43.562 worth of Berkshire Hathaway's class B stock.
    Anyone care to check and see what the big rush was worth? Maybe a little insider trading, non the less, it is only the tip of the pile.

    I believe once we get rid of any and all, self serving politician, regardless of political affiliation, we can then put our best effort into cleaning up the other corruption.

  4. If anyone wants to see what the national health care will look like, go to the Indian Reservation. The ass. press has an article on the plight of the medical care on reservation. The only thing they need, according to the article is more money. This is not seen as a failure of gov. medical care, just a lack of money. The other amazing thing is that now the Indains have money the candidates are showing up on the reservation. Although the republicans were already there.