Why is the U.S. Ravaged by Fraud?

You’ll hear a lot about “corruption” in places like Iraq and Iran (and you’ll read letters in Jamaican newspapers complaining bitterly about light-fingered public officials), but you won’t hear much about the huge cost of fraud in America.

Until some big bust comes along – like Friday’s round-up of 94 people in five cities who were accused of  medicare fraud totaling $251 million.

Then you read puzzling reports like this:

Medicare now has authority to stop payments to providers it suspects are fraudulent.

You mean to tell me Medicare did not always have “the authority” to stop payments to suspect providers? Why not?

I searched and searched but I can’t find anything on the web to help me figure it out. All I know is that for whatever reason, Medicare officials were not previously allowed to do much about suspicious claims. Apparently they could not even analyze claims to sniff out patterns that smelled fishy.

Now, with President Obama in the White House, it looks as if this gaping hole is finally being plugged.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is providing federal funds to give investigators “access to … billing data to help identify cases of potential fraud.”

So the authorities can now actually look for fraud? What a concept!

It’s no wonder that Medicare crooks have been able to steal an estimated $60-$90 billion a year.

Disturbingly, a lot of the Medicare fraud finally being exposed is the work of mobsters.

It’s a shame that Obama and his allies in Congress aren’t getting the credit they deserve. It’s their recent health-care legislation that is giving investigators the common-sense weapons they need in the war against Medicare fraud.

The Bush White House must have been looking the other way while organized crime took over the Medicare racket.

Don’t you wonder about the way Congress has been handling the nation’s money? I am still seething over the financial bailout that cost billions – maybe trillions. And I still don’t know where all of that tax money went.

And what about the pallets loaded with cash airlifted out of Kabul? And garbage bags full of hundred-dollar bills that vanished in Baghdad?

With all that has gone on over the years, you might forgive me if I wonder about those Medicare “loopholes.”   You think they might have been deliberately built into the program for the benefit of shadowy characters who lurk behind the scenes in Washington?

I know, I know, not another “conspiracy theory.” But…