This CNN report highlights another dog-bites-man story: the federal government is wasting billions of your dollars in improper payments and fraud:
The federal government made $98 billion in improper payments in fiscal 2009, and President Obama will issue an executive order in coming days to combat the problem, his budget director announced Tuesday.
Gee, a strongly-worded memo ought to take care of that $98 B of waste – I feel much better.
That government is wasting your money will come as a surprise to no one, but what struck me was the breakdown of the amount of waste in specific programs: (my comments in italics)
Some of the larger figures for improper payments were:
• $24 billion for Medicare fee-for service, out of a total of $308 billion (8% of all Medicare fee-for-service payments were deemed to be “improper.” And according to this article, the total Medicare system had $47 billion in “questionable” claims payments out of a total of $440 billion program – for 11% waste. These figures are never included when statists boast on the “low administrative costs” of Medicare. With such numbers in mind, do we really want to march toward a “Medicare for all” medical care system?)
• $18 billion for Medicaid health care for the poor, out of a total of $188 billion (10% of all payments were “improper,” or a 90% accuracy rate – I guess that will still get you an A in most government schools)
• $12 billion for Medicaid Advantage, out of a total of $77 billion (16% waste – or more than one in every 7 dollars)
• $12 billion for unemployment insurance, out of a total of $119 billion (10% waste – aren’t you glad that the gov’t just extened the time people can receive unemployment benefits by a few months?)
• $12 billion for the Earned Income Tax Credit, out of a total of $48 billion (one out of every four dollars is wasted in this program – and the state of North Carolina matches five percent of these payment, and many want to increase it)
To put the $98 B figure in perspective, that comes to just over $700 for every American worker (who still has a job).