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Russian Diplomats Busted for Bilking Medicaid
Townhall.com ^ | December 15, 2013 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 12/15/2013 5:44:46 AM PST by Kaslin

When you work in Washington (and assuming you haven’t been corrupted), you run the risk of being endlessly outraged about all the waste.

But not all waste is created equal. Some examples are so absurd that they deserve special attention.

We now have another example to add to the list. Russian diplomats have been busted for bilking the Medicaid program of more than $1 million.

This is so outrageous that it may actually be the impetus for some desperately needed reform, as I suggest in this interview with Neil Cavuto.

Dan Mitchell Discusses Russian Diplomats Bilking Medicaid

But is fraud really a problem? Defenders of the Medicaid entitlement presumably would like us to think that this latest story is just an anomaly.

That would be nice, but the experts who have looked at the issue have come to a much different conclusion.

While food stamp fraud is significant, especially with a record-high 47 million Americans now on food stamps, it pales in comparison to what is stolen from Medicare and Medicaid. …It is widely accepted across the political spectrum that upwards of $100 billion of that amount is fraud and abuse. Recently, a report from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the US House of Representatives outlined many billions of dollars being wasted every year just in New York’s Medicaid program. Grossly inflated payments to intermediate care facilities and excessive salaries were just the tip of the iceberg in a $53 billion program that easily bleeds more than $10 billion annually to criminals.

So what’s the best way of dealing with the Medicaid mess? Fortunately, we have a simple answer. As I mentioned in the interview, the entire program should be block granted and turned over to the states.

That doesn’t automatically eliminate fraud, but it does create much better incentives for sound governance since state taxpayers would be the ones picking up the tab if a state program is riddled with fraud. Under the current system, by contrast, the cost of waste and malfeasance is spread among taxpayers from all 50 states.

This video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity explains how block grants would work.

Promote Federalism and Replicate the Success of Welfare Reform with Medicaid Block Grants

One final point to emphasize is that fraud reduction is really just a fringe benefit if we reform Medicaid.

The main reasons to decentralize the program are fiscal sanity and better health care policy.

But the one common thread is that third-party payer facilitates problems, whether we’re looking at excessive costs, health inefficiency, or rampant fraud.

P.S. Don’t forget the other two big entitlements that need reform, Social Security and Medicare. Like Medicaid, Medicare has major challenges with fraud. From what I understand, the retirement portion of Social Security doesn’t have major fraud issues, but the disability program is a huge problem.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Russia; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: budget; federalbudget; fraud; medicaid; russia; washington; wastefraudabuse

1 posted on 12/15/2013 5:44:47 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Looters looting $ocialized insurance? Who’da thunk it?

(It’s okay The money stolen from our paychecks covers all of this)

http://www.usdebtclock.org

(what problems? /sarcasm)


2 posted on 12/15/2013 6:20:15 AM PST by PGalt
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To: PGalt

They didn’t claim “diplomatic immunity”?


3 posted on 12/15/2013 6:31:41 AM PST by Progov
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To: Progov

:)


4 posted on 12/15/2013 6:41:59 AM PST by PGalt
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To: Kaslin

Diplomatic immunity. They’ll probably be sent home.


5 posted on 12/15/2013 6:55:03 AM PST by SkyDancer (Live your life in such a way that the Westboro church will want to picket your funeral.)
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To: Kaslin; All

And this surprises everyone how....Just typical for this criminal admin!


6 posted on 12/15/2013 7:30:42 AM PST by TMSuchman (John 15;13 & Exodus 21:22-25 Pacem Bello Pastoribus Canes [shepard of peace,dogs of war])
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks Kaslin.


7 posted on 12/15/2013 7:42:40 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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