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

20 thoughts on “Why Obama’s Crackdown on Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Will Fail

  1. Wouldn’t be enough. You could fire the whole military and it wouldn’t put a
    dent in all the medicare/medicaid promises that have been made. The best
    part is even if you did cut military, all those people laid off would then
    get huge gold plated pensions they’ve been promised so you wouldn’t even
    save all that much. Quite the deep grave the politicos have dug themselves
    isn’t it?

  2. You do know that the US Federal Govt itself spends just as much on
    medicare, medicaid and HHS as it does on the entire defense budget, right?
    Add in state programs and you easily surpass this. And this was when baby
    boomers had not retired and become eligible for medicare. When they do, the
    medicare would need 5 times as much money as defense industries take.
    Already medical research is made artificially expensive thanks to the FDA.
    Keep spending more though. Impoverishment of all is the goal.

  3. And you do know that money comes from a bank account we have already paid
    into, right? The money the gov pays is on interest to loans they have made
    against medicare’s money. We paid for medicare, we are entitled to it. We
    haven’t paid into the military and we aren’t entitled to it. We aren’t
    entitled to illegal wars and cold war weapons we don’t need. 

  4. “we have already paid into, right? ” Nope. No such bank account exists.
    “The money the gov pays is on interest to loans they have made against
    medicare’s money.” Wrong again. “We paid for medicare, we are entitled to
    it” Nope. You didn’t pay, you were willfully robbed and you justified the
    robbery of others due to your greed for other people’s money. “We aren’t
    entitled to illegal wars and cold war weapons we don’t need. ” True. Wars
    should have been avoided but you people didn’t avoid them.

  5. And you think how you vote matters? LOL! If you do, then there were bunch
    of people who voted against every healthcare regulation. You didn’t respect
    their votes. You still don’t respect the minority votes and impose
    consequences of your bad decisions on them. That the cards were flipped on
    you when it came to war doesn’t earn you any escape from blame. You played
    the game… now you will suffer the consequences. There is absolutely
    nothing that can make your greedy dreams come true.

  6. BTW, the collapse of the system is inevitable, but it is not all bad news.
    If you survive beyond the system’s collapse and opening up (try to be as
    healthy as possible and be prepared to work)… you will actually get
    really good quality healthcare for real cheap, if people learn their lesson
    and finally allow a completely free market in healthcare to come about. The
    more the collapse is delayed, the worse off everyone will be.

  7. A free market for health care could only work in very large cities. Just as
    airports only work in very large cities. 

  8. Yeah, because in a smaller village you need rape and robbery to make things
    happen. Airports work everywhere btw.

  9. How much was gold going for 10 years ago? How much is going for today? What
    did you just describe it’s price in? That’s right the dollar. Your
    measuring tool is a variable, but you are in denial of it. 

  10. There are people supporting children on $10 per hour and no benefits and
    being denied Medicaid. I see two groups — those poor whose families have
    never been on Medicaid and need it and can’t get it, and then there are
    generations of families who have historically never worked and have for
    decades lived off of every government assistance they could swindle and
    felt entitled to it. The parasitic group is disgusting, and the U.S
    government is wrong to enable them. 

  11. The whole system is FRAUD, every hospital and doctor commits fraud.
    Hospital bills are secret the taxpayer can’t get at them to show the
    schmucks where the fraud starts.

  12. what noone is getting is this;poor people trying to get more than they have
    coming,GO FIGURE???? but not one cent of fraud can happen without,get
    EVERYTHINGA,SETS UP POOR PEOPLE WITH NOTHING.guess who goes to jail,and who
    goes to the hamptons?

  13. There is VERY LITTLE actual fraud in Medicare & Medicaid.However,the way
    that these programs are run…LOW reinbursement & access to decent care
    needs to be addressed.You could ERASE all of the waste,fraud & abuse of
    Medicaid/Medicare dollars……but people on those programs STILL can’t see
    a doctor.Reimbursement with these programs needs to change.Otherwise,you
    will still see TOOTHLESS Medicaid recipients because the program doesn’t
    cover root canal treatment or crowns in the back of the mouth.

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