Another Government Success Story: Government Made $100 Billion Worth of Improper Payments

Between persistent problems with state exchanges and surprisingly sharp premium hikes, Americans could really use a story that inspires confidence in our government’s ability to run its own programs.


We didn’t’ find it in this morning’s paper.


The big headline: last year the government made $100 billion worth of improper payments to people who may not have been entitled to receive them. According to the Associated Press, these included “tax credits to families that didn’t qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.”


But wait, here comes the best news of all: the vast majority of the $100 billion worth of improper payments the government made last year were made for healthcare programs.


“The largest sources of improper payments are government health care programs, according to agency estimates. Medicare’s various health insurance programs for older Americans accounted for $50 billion in improper payments in the 2013 budget year, far exceeding any other program.”


There you have it: clear proof they can definitely provide healthcare for millions of people.


WARNING: reading more of this blog post may cause nausea. There’s more.


Medicaid programs racked up a total of $14.4 billion in improper payments. This, of course, is the same program the White House is working to convince states to expand. And, with results like this, why not?


Last week the Administration used some dubious logic in its new report aimed at selling states on that idea.


And it was less than a month ago that we learned the Department of Health and Human Services made an untold number of subsidy mistakes because it could not keep track of all the paperwork being filed.


“The Obama administration is contacting hundreds of thousands of people with subsidized health insurance to resolve questions about their eligibility…Of the eight million people who signed up for private health plans through insurance exchanges under the new health care law, two million reported personal information that differed from data in government records, according to federal officials and Serco, the company hired to resolve such inconsistencies.”


As Americans give the Federal government more and more control over our tax dollars and our healthcare, we can take comfort in the fact that they know how to spend our money and choose our care better than we do.

If you don’t believe that, just look at the results they’ve produced.


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