Shock: 60 Minutes investigates Medicare fraud; asks can gov't "manage a medical bureaucracy"?

Will the Obama administration now place CBS in timeout next to Fox until they both learn to propagandize properly?

60 Minutes, Medicaid Fraud, healthcare, Obama.jpgA 60 Minutes story last night did the liberal thrust for nationalized healthcare no favors.

The exposé, "Medicare fraud: A $60 billion crime," investigated what "has become one of, if not the most profitable, crimes in America... push[ing] aside cocaine as the major criminal enterprise."...

[View 60 Minutes piece on page 2.]

I knew there was fraud in the Medicare/Medicaid system, but I had no idea of the magnitude.

I was surprised this led correspondent Steve Kroft to the obvious point, "This story may raise your blood pressure, along with some troubling questions about our government's ability to manage a medical bureaucracy." Bingo.

About the 60 Minutes segment, Jim Kouri, a VP of the National Association of Chiefs of Police wrote on

[F]inally a major news organization was asking the right questions regarding the current epidemic of fraud and abuse within the government health care bureaucracy which is a preview of what can be expected once the federal government takes control of Americans' overall health care.... [O]ne can only imagine the amount of corruption that will occur....

Here's the piece...

60 Minutes tried to portray the Obama administration favorably. Attorney General Eric Holder said they had earmarked $200 million to the Medicare fraud division in the stimulus package.

Two problems there. #1, the corruption appears too massive:

Tony, 60 Minutes, Medicare fraud, healthcare, Obama.jpg

But Tony, who has just begun serving his 12 year prison sentence, says there's no shortage of people in Miami waiting to take his place.

Asked how many people in Miami were doing this, Tony said, "I'd say at least 2,000 people. At least 2,000, 3,000 companies."

He estimated that less than 5% of these companies were legitimate.

And that's just Miami. #2: Government bureaucratic intervention will only encourage crooks to become more sophisticated while punishing legitimate companies - and increase the bureaucracy - by forcing them to fill out endlessly more paperwork.



The gov't isn't interested in controlling waste and fraud let alone graft and corruption.

Bureaucrats have always been corrupt.

More gov't = more corruption

It is the natural order of things.

Posted by: hippie at October 26, 2009 10:04 AM

I was told by a major Insurance IT exec that when they process claims for medicare, they do not run fraud softwaree like they do on their own claims.

Posted by: xppc at October 26, 2009 10:15 AM

Good heavens. I didn't know Medicare fraud was THIS rampant. I'm glad this is coming out now, however. People need to know about it. The government can't keep Medicare afloat financially, or keep massive fraud out of it. There's NO WAY they will be able to do this with a massive "public option".

Posted by: army_wife at October 26, 2009 11:22 AM

Unless I missed it, the 60 Minutes piece only addressed fraud from the provider angle. There's a lot of fraud on the consumer side too, especially with Medicaid. Trying to report fraud by an individual enrollee is an exercise in futility. And the progressives want me to believe a sizeable part of financing health care reform will come from eliminating waste & fraud? Please! The people gaming the system have more wits than the bureaucrats doling out the benefits.

Posted by: Fed Up at October 26, 2009 1:34 PM

The whole point of nationalising the healthcare is to get a piece of the action. You can't peddle influence you don't have.

The politicians are already getting special deals for their states, like lower premiums and higher reimbursements in Nevada, New York and California. Just rest assured that those in Red states will pay more and get less.

Posted by: hippie at October 26, 2009 1:36 PM

I doubt that 95% of equipment suppliers LISTED IN PHONE BOOKS are crooks because ads in phone books cost a lot of money and are usually used by companies who intend to stay in business. These fly-by-night crooks don't need to advertise - they get submit their claims, get paid, and then split. Medicare has known about these thieves and false claims for decades. The question is resources and can the criminal justice system handle the increased number of criminals caught with increased resources? And, if you have two sink-holes already, Medicare and Medicaid, why on earth would Congress and the President want to create a third one - the so-called "public option?"

Posted by: CG at October 26, 2009 2:08 PM

I can’t believe people are getting away with stealing especially from Medicare. I find this to be obscene! This article has been informative to me because I had no idea. Who would ever think that the government would allow this to happen? After reading this article, this problem has to be solved. I’m so glad I found this and after watching this clip I’m happy to be aware and I’m telling everyone I know!

Posted by: PoliticallyCorrect1 at October 26, 2009 4:25 PM