Monday, October 18

Medicare fraud: brazen and ubiquitous

Last year Cato Institute’s Michael F. Cannon wrote a sobering assessment of the problems with Medicare and Medicaid: “The three most salient characteristics of Medicare and Medicaid fraud are: It’s brazen, it’s ubiquitous, and it’s other people’s money, so nobody cares.”

How has Medicare fraud been allowed to exist for so long? “The answers are in the nature of the beast. Medicare and Medicaid, the two great pillars of Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s ‘Great Society’ agenda, are monuments to the left-wing ideals of coerced charity and centralized economic planning. The staggering levels of fraud in these programs can be explained by the fact that the politicians, bureaucrats, patients, and health-care providers who administer and participate in them are spending other people’s money — and nobody spends other people’s money as carefully as he spends his own. What’s more, Medicare and Medicaid are spending other people’s money in vast quantities.”

Then: “For providers, Medicare is like an ATM: So long as they punch in the right numbers, out comes the cash.”

I recommend the entire article at Entitlement Bandits — How the Ryan Plan Would Curb Medicare and Medicaid Fraud