Medicare Fraud Costs Trump Sequester Cuts By Over $100 Billion

April 29th, 2013 5:11 PM

Have any of the liberal journalists who have bellyached over the sequester's supposedly draconian cuts -- which amount to a mere $44 billion -- considered that it pales in comparison to the amount of money that Medicare fraud costs the taxpayer every year?

That would be as much as $300 billion a year, or three times what the U.S. government spends on education, as Chris Parker of the Houston Press noted in an April 25 story:

Given how often such blatant thievery goes undetected, no one's sure how much fraud there really is. Conservative estimates place the bill at $100 billion annually. The more adventurous peg the figure closer to $300 billion — three times what the feds spend on education.

It has left federal health care little more than an unlocked home, where street punks and gangsters, doctors and even states walk right in and help themselves to whatever's inside.

Parker also observed that some people who were involved in Medicare fraud look mighty familiar, like Democratic Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee of Texas.  Houston Riverside General Hospital, the medical center she vouched for after it was hit with cuts, was found to have committed $116 million dollars in Medicare fraud – and her husband, Elwyn Lee, was once on the board.  

Medicare malfeasance is, alas, a bipartisan fiasco. Florida Governor Rick Scott (R), you may recall, was CEO of a hospital company that also has engaged in felonious Medicare transactions.

While liberal journalists like E.J. Dionne have been squawking about how disastrous the sequester cuts -- in truth they are actually reductions in the rate of spending --are, the fact of the matter is they are a drop in the federal budget bucket, and are significantly less than money we as taxpayers lose every year thanks to fraud in Medicare, a program which needs fundamental reform to prevent insolvency in a few decades time.