Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chair of the Senate subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, commended the Department of Health and Human Service and the Justice Department's action against 91 individuals charged with committing approximately $430 million in Medicare fraud. In a press conference this afternoon, Attorney General Eric Holder joined Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to announce the nationwide takedown.
"I strongly commend Attorney General Holder and Secretary Sebelius and their teams at the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services for their work pursuing criminals who steal from Medicare," said Sen. Carper. "The sheer number and scope of these potentially illicit activities is a serious concern, and a serious drain on Medicare. Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are siphoned off from this vital program to line the pockets of bad actors, hurting America's seniors and taxpayers of all ages.
"Today's action is an important step in our fight against Medicare waste, fraud and abuse and it is my sincere hope that these charges will serve as a both a warning and a deterrent to others that Medicare is not a program to be manipulated for personal gain," continued Sen. Carper. "When my colleagues and I drafted the Affordable Care Act, one of our top priorities was to provide the federal government with innovative tools and resources to root out waste and abuse. I've continued that effort with my bipartisan bill, the FAST Act, which would address a set of problems that leads to tens of billions of dollars lost to waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid every year. I will continue to work closely with the Administration, the Justice Department and Health and Human Services to ensure that they have all the resources they need to combat similar crimes and address other areas of Medicare and Medicaid that remain vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse."
As part of his ongoing efforts to curb waste, fraud and abuse within Medicare and Medicaid, Sen. Carper with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) developed the bipartisan The Medicare and Medicaid Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act (S.1251) -- also known as the "FAST Act" -- which contains a set of important steps that will help rein in those trying to defraud our federal health care programs and fight the illegal diversion of drugs from Medicare and Medicaid.