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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Harry Reid's imaginary $4 billion credit to the health-care law

By Glenn Kessler

"The health-reform law is already saving lives and saving money... Last week we saw just how much this law is helping cut down on fraud in the health insurance industry. We've recovered $4 billion so far, and this law will keep cracking down on those who try to take advantage of the vulnerable."
--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Feb. 1, 2011

The Senate majority leader made an impassioned plea on behalf of the new health-care law on the Senate floor Tuesday, one day after a federal judge struck it down as unconstitutional. (For those keeping score, that means two lower-court judges have said it is constitutional and two lower-court judges have said it is not. All that really matters is the final ruling by the Supreme Court.)

Reid argued that it is time to "stop re-fighting yesterday's fights" and ticked off the benefits that he said were already flowing from the bill, including the claimed $4 billion in restitution and fines. He also argued that repealing the law would "add a trillion dollars to the deficit," which is a claim we have debunked before. But is it possible that a bill that passed just 10 months ago has already yielded $4 billion from health care fraudsters?

The Facts

Reid's spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. But it is clear where the figure came from--an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that a new report showed that health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts had recovered more than $4 billion in fiscal year 2010. The agency said this figure was a single-year record. The government's fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, so that would mean the health-care law would actually have been in effect for just six months in the time period covered in the report.

But the HHS news release never claims the new health-care law had anything to do with the successful enforcement efforts. It instead attributes the success to action taken in 2009 -- the creation of a Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team focused on preventing waste and fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The release notes that there are additional tools to prevent such fraud in the health care law, adding that HHS was announcing a final rule implementing the law. In other words, whatever fraud prevention is contained in the health-care law has not taken effect yet -- and certainly had not been in effect in fiscal year 2010.

Dig deeper in the report issued by the HHS Office of Inspector General, and it becomes clear that much of the savings claimed by Reid was collected before the health-care bill was signed into law. The bulk of the savings comes from 217 guilty pleas and 19 jury trials conducted in fiscal year 2010 -- cases that had been long in the works. There was a October 2009 sentencing in Miami for health-care fraud, conspiracy to commit health-care fraud and obstruction of justice, a March 2010 court order to pay more than $10.7 million in restitution to Medicare, and so forth. Case after case is listed, none of which resulted from the health care law.

In fact, the 90-page report contains only five brief mentions of the Affordable Care Act, mainly to note that it would provide new tools to combat fraud and that the government had been working to implement the new rules. But to claim the new law had anything to do with the money collected in fiscal year 2010 is ludicrous.

The Pinocchio Test

The new provisions to combat health care fraud in the Affordable Care Act may be laudable, but Reid made a serious mistake when he claimed that the new law had already resulted in $4 billion in restitution and fines. Senators shouldn't count their chickens before they hatch.

Three Pinocchios.

(About our rating scale).

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By Glenn Kessler  | February 2, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  3 Pinocchios, Harry Reid, Health  
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Comments

Harry Reid didn't tell the truth? How could this be? And you say he's been telling these lies for two years? Get outta here!

Posted by: ronjaboy | February 2, 2011 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Please do not defame Pinocchio's name.
Pinocchio would make a better Senator then most of the "career" politicians now holding that office.

Plus "our" Senator's do not lie, they just bend the fact to suit their purposes.

After all the lobbyists and special interest money loves them.

http://goooh.com/

Posted by: bkarpus | February 2, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Wait, let me run into the bathroom so I can develop my surprised look in the mirror.

Posted by: jbeeler | February 2, 2011 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Reid needs to be evaluated for mental health. He has suffered a break from reality.

Posted by: ahashburn | February 2, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I love it when people who do not understand statistics try to say something is definitely true or definitely false. The true FACT is that there is no way of telling whether the health care law had anything to do with this or not. Perhaps, as we collect additional years of data, we can go back and look at whether the enormous increase this year was a one time event or whether we have settled to a new higher level. Right now, both Mr. Kessler and Senator Reid are making claims that cannot be substantiated from the data we have.

Posted by: Prosperity2008 | February 2, 2011 7:32 AM | Report abuse

"Reid argued that it is time to "stop re-fighting yesterday's fights..."

===========================================

The Democrats didn't allow a fight over the healthcare bill. Not even a skirmish.
If they hadn't pushed this monstrosity through the back door and actually allowed a debate, we wouldn't have to go back to the drawing board.

Posted by: bethg1841 | February 2, 2011 7:40 AM | Report abuse


We didn't need to "reform" health care in order to make a concerted effort to eliminate fraud.

If there was $4 billion of fraud found, shame on the government health care bureaucracy for allowing it to begin with.

Shame on Harry Reid for telling lies. It's not helping his case, and showing what little integrity he has.

Posted by: Benson | February 2, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Okay Harry, now come out with an amendment taking that $4 Billion dollars and apply it to the Federal Deficit. Come on Dingy, do it!!!

Posted by: vatownsend | February 2, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Prosperity2008: Statistics have nothing to do with it. The new health care law hasn't been implemented yet--there are no regulations in effect--so none of the recovery could have been based on its provisions.The cases closed last year were pursued under the laws in effect when the frauds were committed and resolved based on policies in effect last year, not laws and policies that may go into effect this year.

Posted by: Erasma | February 2, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Clearly the law is going down in the Supreme Court if it gets there soon. This is what you get when you ram legislation down people's throats without fully considering the impacts of unintended consequences.

The same people that rammed it are now grasping for reasons to show they were right in their actions.

Posted by: asdf9876 | February 2, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

While you are fact checking, I'd like to see you fact check this. What are the exact provisions of the health insurance and other benefits received by members of congress and federal judges? How do these benefits compare with the average health care benefits available to ordinary people? And how do they compare to policies such as the policies offered to workers in box stores and the like, Wal-Mart and Costco (ordinary floor workers, not executives).

I've always thought that it is probably easy for people with guaranteed Cadillac health coverage which continues into retirement to deny such to others.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | February 2, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

harry does this mean those that pay for insurance will get a rebate? ask obozo how that stimulus thing works. what BS

Posted by: pofinpa | February 2, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

with all the fraud going on in medicare and medicaid,now these feeble minded democrats want to make it bigger and easier for fraud.term limits people it is time for term limits.

Posted by: SISSD1 | February 2, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

All politicians lie, regardless of party affiliation. It's what they do best. Mr. Kessler, thank you for calling them out from time to time.

Posted by: ecjmom | February 2, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Harry Reid is still in office say a lot about the majority of registered voters in Nevada.

I was first going to say just half the people in the state, but then realized that one has to be a registered voter to play a role in this idiot/manipulator reelected, so I was going to say half the registered voters are equally idiots/manipulators. But, I then realized further that the other half, at least a sizeable portion of that half put Sharon Angle on the ballot to oppose Reid, so then I had to amend it further to registered voters as a whole.

And then I realized something further, that (1) not all voters voted, (2) people who are eligible to vote did not try to register to vote, and (3) there is probably a sizeable amount of illegal/ineligible people in the state who found ways to vote, so in the end, the real statement should be this:

The fact that Harry Reid is still in office shows a lot about the people in Nevada, and that is they should elect him President of their state and keep him there to adequately represent your interests. Which, by the way, do NOT coincide with those of the majority of the rest of America.

It is a shame I have to root for the Republicans to take the Senate in 2012, because they as a group are as corrupt and illogical as this alleged repressentative from Nevada. But, the Democrats are as obviously flawed and clueless as the Republicans, to keep Reid as Senate Leader.

I am impressed the Post reported this story though.

Posted by: Joelhassfam4 | February 2, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Lies, damn lies, and statistics! Harry "mushmouth" Reid rides again. Thanks to Richard Trumka We The People must endure this creepy crooked dude for another 6 years folks. Harry Reid, Richard Trumka and Kermit Gosnell are birds of a feather: http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/live-and-die-philadelphia_537628.html

Posted by: ironmule | February 2, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

When has Obama, REid or Pelosi ever told the American people the truth? All three are serial liars, that will do anything to push their leftist-socialist agenda......but those days are over as the courts and the new GOP House has stopped these leftist in their tracks.

Posted by: Realist201 | February 2, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

My understanding is that there is approximately SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS in FRAUD, in Medicare per year. And the government is boasting about recapturing 4 billion? That leaves 56 BILLION DOLLARS in successful FRAUD in 2010.

Do we really want these incompetent (not to mention dishonest) politicians and their minions running our health care? And please don't tell me about the evil corporations. No one is as stifled by cronyism, unions and corruption, not to mention unconscionable cost overruns as government. My health insurance company (one of the Blues)is nonprofit. It is well run, yes they don't always pay whatever claims people ask for, there are rules, but they are a company, not a charity and not a welfare organization. And they do a good job. Unlike the politicians who run the federal government who have made a mess of every single issue in which they have ever involved themselves. Medicare is now bankrupt.

Posted by: SameOldTiredThinking | February 2, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

With the exception of Dingy's groupies in the Las Vegas service unions, is there really anyone that is shocked and awed by his lack of morals and ethics?

Posted by: JAH3 | February 2, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Fish rots from the head: Obama, Reid, Pelosi... they're all highly accomplished liars.

What does that teach our children?

Posted by: VA_Skylark | February 2, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Baloney there was no fight on healthcare. What was all that "he11 no" stuff, what was all that "Armageddon" stuff, what was all that lying, out and out lying about death panels, what was all that debate over the amount of money it was going to cost or not cost, ...they pulled every conceivable manuever they could instead of coming up with something better than the Democrats. The President of this country was ELECTED by a majority of people who knew his agenda was to get healthcare reform done. This wasn't a dang secret. SO if a majority of people elect a guy who says he is going to get healthcare reform done, how is it that the "will of the people" was not followed since he got elected on it by a large margin? What he didn't follow was the will of the people to give us a public option. As far as Reid making statements that don't reflect the facts here is one fact I KNOW from personal experience. Since healthcare reform has been in effect it has positively affected my family because my college age son can go back on my plan instead of the separate one which I was previously paying 200 bucks a month for plus co-pays and deductibles. The real deal is that many families are also seeing the REAL impact on their lives, many businesses are beginning to be able to offer healthcare to their employees, and many people with pre-existing conditions are now able to get insured. As far as fraud goes, well it takes a whole lot of time to route out fraud, because it has become so entrenched in our society, by not only politicians but insurance companies dealing in bad faith with their insureds. This law is not perfect but it's better than the Republicans came up with and they would have never came up with anything had the Democrats not done it first. They don't care about your families they only care about how much money they can grub from you and then go back and blame you for not being rich. It makes me sick all these people running around thumping bibles but would seek to deny basic care to your fellow American. It makes me feel like this country sucks and all those morals we keep having shoved down our throats are empty because no one really practices them.

Posted by: jacquie1 | February 2, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Reid argued that it is time to "stop re-fighting yesterday's fights".
--------------------
Democrats didn't allow any time to fight over this legislation. They rammed this piece of crap down our throats and it's why half of America is still very angry today. If you want to move on Harrah Reid then close this farce down and start over again. Obamacare is dead. Voters told you and now the courts are telling you. Only Democrats refuse to accept it's sad fate.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | February 2, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Wow. WaPo readers criticizing leftist leaders. Maybe the tide is turning.

Posted by: dmzrn | February 2, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

If only the WP would have been more skeptical when they were pushing this 2000+ page POC on us. Now they start looking closer, because the American people have more knowledge then most reporting on it.

Posted by: tateofpa | February 2, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

MR. HARRY REID:

U R AN EMBARAZZMENT TO UZ AMERICANZ...
HOW
CAN
U EVEN STAND YOURZELF....
NO ONE CAREZ
ABOUT YOU OR YOUR CRONEEZZZZZZZZZZZZ
WE'VE HAD IT!!!!!!!!

Posted by: sherimoonfirefly777 | February 2, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Those like jacquie1 who still believe the republicans "just said no" to the healthcare reform should not be allowed to post their hateful words until they can read and understand what really happened. The republican minority did have proposals for healthcare reform, but the dems would not even let them bring their proposals to a hearing. The dems let some George Soros group like the Appolo Alliance write the heathcare scam. Those like Reid who pushed this agenda should be impeached for not keeping their oath of office - to uphold the Constitution. This cost the country untold dollars and hardship while these demagods lied and destroyed the USA.

Now, Obama thinks it is his place to tell Mubarek to step down! I think Obama should resign at once and take his administration with him. If he is our friend, Obama that is, I hate to see our enemies. Take Reid with you!!

Posted by: annnort | February 2, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

It's plain both the Democrats and Republicans are Lying about this law.

It took 10 months to get through Congress and people wanted the Public Option and/or Medicare single payer but this is what was forced on us by Republicans and their Purple Dog Republicrats.

A majority of Americans want it Fixed and made better, not Repealed.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | February 2, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid and the rest of the corrupt Democrats lied and bribed to get this Bill passed.

Now Harry Reid is lying to keep it in place. Or perhaps he is delusional; to keep America safe Harry Reid should undergo a psychiatric evaluation with the results published on the web.

We need to know if he is clinically insane and thus should be impeached and removed from the Senate.

Or maybe he really is just another lying greedy Democrat who uses public monies to pay off his union supporters.

Posted by: krankyman | February 2, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight . . . ..
We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't?
Which purportedly covers at least ten million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents and it will not add to the national debt.
Written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but, exempted themselves from it, and signed by a President who smokes. With funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any “benefits” take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke!!!!!
What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: tateofpa | February 2, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

North Dakota is entertaining legislation that will require all able bodied adults to PURCHASE a firearm.

~ end of that issue eh ~

Then there's this problem of counting savings before they occur. Kind of like imagining using your Penney's 10% coupon over and over until you've made $100,000

~ end of that one too ~

Now, voting for Harry Reid ~ I don't think anybody in Nevada voted for Harry.

Posted by: muawiyah | February 2, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

NV voters should be ashamed of themselves.

CA voters should be ashamed of themselves.

PA voters should be ashamed of themselves.

reid, boxer, frank.

the ruling aristocracy of multi-millionaire lawyers continues.

thanks lib voting fools..... thanks, for these career liars.

Posted by: docwhocuts | February 2, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

docwhocuts

We in PA sent a teapartier to the senate, and got rid of Spector.

Posted by: tateofpa | February 2, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse


In searching the Washington Post, I couldn't find a single article questioning whether a Mormon could be Senate majority leader but several questioning whether it precludes Mitt Romney from the presidency.

Go figure.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

what a great column, maybe the post's best. Finally, the press does what it's supposed to do! I'll read about opinions in the opinion section, thank you very much.

Posted by: batigol85 | February 2, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

perhaps this indicates that despite many conservative commenters' claims, there is objectivity in how the post covers politics?

Reid, your staffers need to do a better job here.

Posted by: j762 | February 2, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Every citizen, and illegal alien, of Nevada who voted for Harry Reid last November should be required to undergo a mental health evaluation.

We knew Harry was nuts before then, and every time he opens his mouth more evidence is emitted.

The framers of the Constitution made a mistake in limiting voting for Senators to each of the states. The clowns elected by state wind up making policy that effects all of the nation ... all US voters should be entitled to vote on ALL 100 Senators!!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 2, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

bottom line is, the Government employees who regulate, investigate, fine and prosecute for fraud started doing their jobs after an 8 year vacation during the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | February 2, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The problem is not with the voters of NV; they had to choose between Reid and Angle.

The problem is with the Democratic senators who chose him to be their leader after his miserable performance in the previous term.

WaPo: how does he convince Senators to vote him into a leadership position?

Posted by: ad9inaz | February 2, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm impressed that Mr. Kessler "fact checked" a leading Democrat and found that person wanting. I'll be much more likely now to believe Mr. Kessler the next time he fact checks a Republican and reaches similar conclusions. Perhaps he could tutor some of his Post colleagues in being professionally objective.

Posted by: ClementsinUrbana | February 2, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Good job, Glenn. Has any politician ever received the Fact Chcker's Geppetto Checkmark?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | February 2, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm trying to figure out how this bill got shoved down anyone's throat without debate. If that were true, why did it take so long to accomplish?

Republicans in Congress would say, if you change this, I'll consider voting for it, and it would be changed, and then there was something else that had to be changed, and it was changed. This went on for quite awhile. And still the Republicans did not vote for it, except the few that were needed. The Republicans were never going to vote for it.

Please, Republicans, come up with something better. Do your job and work with the Democrats to make it better.

The reason Reid won was because the Republicans put up Sharon Angle to run against him. Had they had a decent, logical-thinking candidate, the Republicans would have won in a landslide. Just like in Delaware. Those are two seats the Republicans should have won but didn't because of who won the Republican primary.

Posted by: mbcullen | February 2, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

muawiyah wrote: Now, voting for Harry Reid ~ I don't think anybody in Nevada voted for Harry.
----------------------
Friends in Nevada in several locations say that outside of Las Vegas they worked their tales off to defeat Reid. They claim it was voter fraud in LV and casino employees that got Reid re-elected. I'm betting the people of Nevada get the job done in 2012 and defeat this sleazeball.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | February 2, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

My, my, another politician who bends things abit here and there. Kind of like those who claimed that the health care bill was a gov't takeover, or that it was nationalizing the health care industry, or that the stimulus bill wasn't working and yet they'd run home to get their pictures taken with the huge check. My, My what is this world coming to?!?

Posted by: djconklin | February 2, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

>Perhaps he could tutor some of his Post colleagues in being professionally objective.
===
The paper also claimed that they had fact-checked an editorial by George Will. I told them that they couldn't have because I'm not even a reporter and I only spent 5 minutes and proved him wrong on a point (other did so too).

Posted by: djconklin | February 2, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

jacquie1 wrote: "The President of this country was ELECTED by a majority of people who knew his agenda was to get healthcare reform done."
______________________________

This illustrates an all-too-common error among those on both the left and the right, but something employed by Pres Obama earlier in his administration than by any other national political figure. The public may elect a person for a lot of reasons but that does not mean the public approves of every proposal they make during their campaigns. Using jacquie1's logic, the people voted to privatize social security becuase they elected Pres Bush in 2004 and that was part of his agenda.

Posted by: longbow1 | February 2, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the knuckle draggers in the Nevada the Republican party who trotted out not-ready-for-prime-time Sharron Angle, we're stuck with poor, insipid Harry for at least two more years.

Posted by: LHS2 | February 2, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

America demands that Reid resign.

Posted by: fury60 | February 2, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise, sur-PRISE!


Posted by: wcmillionairre | February 2, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my...the LIES just KEEP ON COMING from our "friends" in the Obama Administration!

Posted by: wcmillionairre | February 2, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Is anybody surprised at what Harry "The Casino Mob Tool" Reid says? If his lips are moving, he's spouting lies. It is a shame that he won the election...but that's what the USA is all about...anybody can be elected, even a dirtbag like Reid.

Posted by: MoonDoggie | February 2, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

If you live in Maryland then write the Governor and Legislature asking for a MD state public option.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | February 2, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

If you want a real fact checker then read the following back on health care reform:

The Deadly Spin by Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter is a former head of the PR Department for CIGNA Health whose primary responsibility was engineering the lobby campaign AGAINST health care reform. It is very eye opening stuff.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | February 2, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Obviously "back" S/B "book"

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | February 2, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Dear SameOldTired:

You said:

My understanding is that there is approximately SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS in FRAUD, in Medicare per year. And the government is boasting about recapturing 4 billion? That leaves 56 BILLION DOLLARS in successful FRAUD in 2010.

Where do you get such an understanding? That is, what is the source of your claim of $60 billion in fraud? Not even Dick Cheney's bunch got away with that amount (close, but not quite that much).

Posted by: EdDarrell | February 2, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

That is not unusual for Reid or most any of the lawmakers in Washington to distort the truth...they have been in Washington too long and they just because they say something, it it true. Wake up America

Posted by: tonyjm | February 2, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Democrat (and statistician) weighing in here. Clearly, Reid misrepresented the stats. Both sides have a lot of that going on. Good job, fact checker. Reid needs to be held accountable for his statement.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | February 2, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

mbcullen wrote: "Republicans in Congress would say, if you change this, I'll consider voting for it, and it would be changed, and then there was something else that had to be changed, and it was changed. This went on for quite awhile. And still the Republicans did not vote for it"

Really? Are you sure about that? Care to back it up with facts?

Posted by: VA_Skylark | February 2, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Do we really need to pass a law to stop illegal fraud and abuse? Weren't the Dimwits touting the need to pass Obamacare to be able to stop the fraud in Medicare, too? Like do they really need a law to stop the lawless. Another WTF moment in Dimwit annuls. Reid's faux claim is about as inane as Princess Nancy's touting the Deficit DIDN'T increase on her watch because she instituted Pay-Go. Only in Liberal Wonderland. Yea, Palin is nuts though. You Betcha!!!!

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | February 2, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

It is hard to believe the president didn't go for this deal :The CEO of IBM offered the Obama administration a free software program that would have cut Medicare and Medicaid fraud by almost a trillion dollars, but he was turned down – twice.
"We could have improved the quality and reduced the cost of the healthcare system by $900 billion...I said we would do it for free to prove that it works. They turned us down, "IBM chairman and CEO Samuel Palmisano said during a Sept. 14, 2010 taping of the Wall Street Journal’s Viewpoints program.
FOX News confirmed that a second meeting between Palmisano and Obama administration officials yielded the same result: "No thanks!" – even though the proffered "fix" would have eliminated 90 percent of the nation’s health care deficit – and cost taxpayers nothing it didn’t perform as guaranteed.
Yet Medicare/Medicaid fraud is still rampant. According to the Manhattan Institute’s Steven Malanga,"abuses of Medicaid (alone) eat up at least 10 percent of the program’s total cost nationwide -- a waste of $30 billion a year. Unscrupulous doctors billing for over 24 hours per day of procedures, phony companies invoicing for phantom services, pharmacists filling prescriptions for dead patients, home health-care companies demanding payment for treating clients actually in the hospital -- on and on the rip-offs go."
Now that Republicans are trying to repeal Obamacare and drastically cut federal spending at the same time, perhaps Palmisano can be persuaded to offer his services again.

Posted by: tonyjm | February 2, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

If Democrats vote against repeal in the Senate, they run a high risk.
Forcing people to buy something they do not want is unconstitutional and I agree with the two Judges that have declared this so.
The HR bill has to be repealed and done in a manner that adheres to the Constitution of the United States.
Harry Reid is no longer the force he was and leans close to irrelevance by continuing to support an illegal and
ridiculous monstrosity he calls HR reform.
Democrats who continue to follow his lead will be voted out in 2012 in favor of fiscal responsibility.

Posted by: Ronjo58 | February 2, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

And this knucklehead is supposed to be one of America's leaders.

Posted by: JAH3 | February 2, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The truth is HHS enforcement recovered 4 billion dollars during the fiscal year. We don't know if it was spread out over 4 quarters or if it spiked in the last two quarters. Can you find that out....

Regardless of its relationship to the Health Bill, I am pleased that this administration is doing strict enforcement with current health programs, which demonstrates their ability to manage programs. The ability to manage health programs efficiently and effectively is a foundation for the new health care bill.

Posted by: jfristriut | February 2, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

reid -- same as durbin -- on our watch list to go. time to throw all these wasteful bozos out!

economy is in shambles -- get to work cutting spending!

after obamacare is abolished -- abolish education department -- then abolish housing department.

get to work!

Posted by: fngVP | February 2, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

reid -- same as durbin -- on our watch list to go. time to throw all these wasteful bozos out!

economy is in shambles -- get to work cutting spending!

after obamacare is abolished -- abolish education department -- then abolish housing department.

get to work!

Posted by: fngVP | February 2, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone past the age of consent who has ever followed politics knows that every politician of every political stripe will take credit for anything he can wherever he can. They'll rail against earmarks in the public press, then brag to their constituents when they're home about how well they bring home the bacon.

Harry Reid is a politician. 'Nuf said.

It's plain the right wing nuts are out in force today. "Same old tired," has an "understanding," that there's $60 billion in Medicare fraud. That's the kind of understanding one gins up out of their own head to make an ideological point.

If true, there's an awful lot of successful crooks gaming the system. Medicare fraud is not committed by politicians and bureaucrats, it's commmitted by crooked American businessmen & health care providers, sometimes abetted by crooked Medicare recipients, but more often by taking advantage of the limited resources Medicare has to combat fraud.

It was none other than Saint Ronald Reagan who began dismantling the government's ability to combat fraud throughout its agencies. I know, I was there, I watched it happen. Back then, I thought it was merely a short-sighted attempt to reduce expenses. Considering the history since, I've come to believe it was, & continues to be, an overt Republican policy to prove that government doesn't work.

impeachbush99 is closer to the truth when he says the watchdogs that were chained during the previous eight-year administration have at last been let loose to do their jobs.

Posted by: olroy | February 2, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the fact check.Keep it up..goodness knows we need more of this type of reporting.

The WSJ is suing the Feds to get access to Medicare files in an effort to expose fraudulent activity (eg providers whose charges to Medicare have been extraordinary). One has to wonder why HHS hasn't analyzed the data themselves over the many decades that they've had an opportunity to do so.

Posted by: Beagle1 | February 2, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

hey Jacquie1, you are dillusional, the majority who voted for Obama did so because they were deceived by Obama actually they were down right lied to, and the majority doesn't back Obama now because they see what is going on. Any one who believes different are all dillusional. And insurance costs are not going down either, common sense would tell you that if your child over the age of a minor is added to your insurance it is costing more that doesn't change. As far as this repeal being cut down in the senate just shows how little guts the dems have to stand up to Reid and yes Palooser I mean palosi because everyone knows that she wore the pants in the democratic party and Reid is still her puppet.The Dems who do believe that the health care sceam is just that a sceam are to afraid to say it. And it says alot for the people of Nevada who voted Reid back in
they have no morals but then it is the state of sin city. Are people really stupid enough to believe that these clowns in the Government whether Dems or Repub. vote a certain way every time but when election time comes and they plead with the people that they are for them, that they are actually being truthful You know we in this country desrve everything the government ramms down our throats because stupidity runs rampid Is it any wonder China of all places is about to pass us up in leadership of the world if they haven't already. My God what is this country coming to?

Posted by: ndr15950 | February 2, 2011 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Annort, thanks for your post, and I agree with you It is so amazing to me how everything the dems shot down that the repubs tried to push wasn't even looked at, but people who call themselves dems don't seemed to see this but everything the dems did while they were in control is being scrutinized by those same dems when the repubs make a move now. Is it just me or is there something wrong here. the dems want the repubs to be transparent in everything but it is the one thing they refused to be when they were in control. what a lovely bunch we pay to run our country It seems to me that these clowns are in contempt they can lie under oathe only to the people and they get away with it. Look at how many lies Palosi has been caught up in over just the last month or so. the woman can hold a knife to someones throat, on camera one minute and the next minute deny it and no one seems to find the problem with it. I also agree with you on Obama he should resign. And to tateofpa, all I can say to you is Amen!!!!! One last thing we hear all this crap about all the fraud in the Medicare, but what about all the fraud in the government and in the administration?

Posted by: ndr15950 | February 3, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

You report Republican leader McConnell's claim of wide support for repeal of the AACA rates One (1) Pinocchio, and, significantly, that Democratic leader Harry Reid's story about the AACA having saved $4 Billion rates three (3) Pinocchio’s. That’s a pretty good “do it yourself editorial” on the lack of veracity of the statements made about the AACA, the merits of the debate over its passage and the efforts to repeal it, and politics under both political parties and their leadership.
Then people wonder why we citizens don’t believe much, if anything, that practically all politicians of either party tell us about the AACA, the content of which most of Congress and everybody else were intentionally concealed and we were told that we had to pass the law so we could find out what was in it, or anything else.
The unpleasant fact cited by a prior poster is that, even before the AACA, "Obamacare," really gets going, there has been at least $50 Billion a year in fraud and gross waste in federal Medicare, SSI, and federal-state Medicaid since they started in 1965, under administrations of both parties. Now even the supporters say they have to cut huge chunks out of Medicare, particularly to be taken from those of us who live outside the big cities that went heavily for Obama, to make this work.
I grew up around dealings with various federal agencies and programs back to the old War Assets Administration and Reconstruction Finance Corporation, etc., as a child. In my law practice, I worked for and later represented one of the bag-men first for a Democratic and hen for a Republican Presidential candidate, who then ran himself. After I found out he lied to and stole from me, too, and dropped him, and after he was no longer useful to either party or their respective crooks, he was convicted of money laundering for another client. About the same time, I represented a Congressional aide in a staff salary kickback case, one of the noteworthy features of which was that the Administrative Assistant had conned the entire staff he hired, some of whom had worked for the Congressman’s predecessor from the other party and others of both parties, that it was standard procedure for the district staff to kick back half their substantial salaries to provide funds to run the office. Now think. Where else could you sell that story? One doesn’t have to look beyond the liberal Washington Post to read about how the supposedly blind trusts of Members of Congress consistently out-perform the job the best money managers do for other clients. That practically screams of misuse of inside information, bribery, and corruption. Now we have a huge new honey pot, with the appointment of a lot of new, highly paid, powerful beaurocrats, further expanding the involvement of the federal government in healthcare and the economy. On top of that, the plan funnels millions of new compulsory customers to the same insurance companies, like United Healthcare,

Posted by: peterschamberlain | February 3, 2011 2:12 AM | Report abuse

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