Medicare Prevention of Fraud & Waste
Fraud, waste, and abuse are growing problems within both Social Security and Medicare and TSCL believes that the government is not administering the necessary oversight to ensure that scarce program dollars are being spent properly. By increasing efforts to fight fraud, the government could save tens of billions of dollars each year, reducing the need for benefit cuts.
Fraud within Medicare costs the federal government an estimated $60 billion to $90 billion each year, and according to Attorney General Eric Holder, enforcement efforts have yielded an impressive “return on investment” for the American taxpayer. For every dollar spent fighting fraud, approximately $7 has been recovered and returned.
Social Security’s Disability Insurance program is also littered with waste. In 2011, $1.8 billion in overpayments were made to those collecting disability benefits, and an enormous backlog has accumulated for Continuing Disability Reviews, which are conducted to determine whether a beneficiary has recovered enough to return to work. Every dollar spent reviewing these cases yields more than $10 in savings, and if the backlog were eliminated, more than $9 billion would be returned to the Trust Fund.
It is well understood that the failure to manage fraud results in higher taxes for all and higher premiums for Medicare beneficiaries. The potential for savings for Social Security and Medicare are enormous, and TSCL sincerely hopes that lawmakers will increase preventive efforts in order to ensure that scarce program dollars are appropriately spent.