In a pro forma House session today, U.S. Representative John Carney (D-DE) introduced bipartisan legislation to fight Medicare fraud, a problem that is conservatively estimated to cost taxpayers $50 billion annually -- 10 percent of the total cost of Medicare.
Rep. Carney's bipartisan reform solution, H.R. 3399, the Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act (FAST Act), would strengthen Medicare by expanding inter-government fraud data sharing, stopping physician identity theft, enacting tougher Medicare fraud penalties, and using predictive modeling technology to stop paying fraudulent Medicare claims.
"It's easy for politicians to talk about eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare system as a way to reduce the deficit. We need to replace that talk with action," said Rep. Carney. "The FAST Act is a real solution that addresses the problem. This bipartisan legislation will make it much harder to commit Medicare fraud, and will in turn save billions in Medicare costs without cutting benefits to seniors."
The FAST Act is co-sponsored in the House by Rep. Roskam (R-IL). Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced this legislation earlier this year in the Senate. It is supported by a strong coalition of healthcare, tax, and government watchdog groups, including AARP, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Taxpayers Union, and America's Health Insurance Providers.
"At a time when the federal government is borrowing 40 cents on every dollar and Medicare fraud is costing America's elderly a staggering $50 billion annually, it's hard to overstate the need for reform," Rep. Roskam said. "This solution would put in place valuable preventative fraud-check measures to strengthen Medicare, saving taxpayers billions. Stopping Medicare fraud won't be the cure-all of our country's fiscal woes, but it is a commonsense bipartisan solution to save taxpayers billions and help strengthen Medicare."