Please do us a favor and conduct oversight hearings on Medicare fraud. Because while the program is a good campaign message for you, it???s unfortunately riddled with scams.
Taxpayers are getting robbed every day and nobody in Washington is doing anything to stop it. Actions speak louder than words.
Part of what Congress is supposed to do is to conduct oversight hearings to see where taxpayer money is going and putting an end to billions in improper payments that is occurring at an alarming rate???regrettably, this isn???t what they???re doing.
The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of pulling the plug on the most effective program in the federal government designed to identify and recoup improper payments in the Medicare program.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) believes that Medicare paid out at least $46 billion in improper payments, much of it to hospitals.
The Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) program was designed and implemented to incentivize auditors to local improper Medicare payments. Citizens Against Government Waste has noted that, “Since it was implemented nationwide in January 2010, the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program has been efficient and effective, returning more than $9.7 billion to the Medicare Trust Fund. Until the program was hamstrung and certain audits were suspended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in October 2013, RACs were recovering about $1 billion per quarter.”
Rather than celebrating the success of the program, the White House decided to pull the plug on it. The RAC program led to the reduction in improper Medicare payments, which dropped from 10.8% in 2009 to 8.5% in 2012. Though, since the RACs were sidelined by the administration, HHS reports that improper payments have risen to 12.7% in 2014, which equates to $46 billion.
So $46 billion of your tax dollars were wasted because of a bureaucrat???s decision. Please find out who made the decision and if they are going to reverse it. It was a $46 billion dollar mistake.
Why would they undermine a successful program that clearly benefits the taxpayers? There???s only one answer???The hospital lobby.
After spending $20 million on lobbying, the White House caved, despite the fact that Obama vowed to rid the White House of lobbyist in 2007; Much of the overpayments ended up in the bank accounts of hospitals and if they were ever forced to return the money, it would have a dramatic impact on their bottom line.
In a brave effort, the American Hospital Association sought to end the RACs program.
Citizens Against Government Waste and other conservative groups have demanded that the program be restored but it seems like K Street lobbyists have effectively put their interests of the hospitals ahead of the interests of the American people.
Matt Schuck is a former staffer for The Heritage Foundation and Concerned Veterans for America.