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Ensuring Removal of Terminated Providers From Medicaid and Chip Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WELCH. I thank the gentleman from New York.

Mr. Chairman, we are lucky we have Dr. Bucshon, a good Member, a good friend, and a great Energy and Commerce Committee person, who, with his experience as a physician, is able to give us the benefit of this bill. I thank the gentleman from Indiana for that.

The Medicaid program is an incredibly important program to get health care to poor Americans who need it. The vast majority of our providers use the Medicaid program to provide those services, but some fraudulent providers use that program to rip off taxpayers. It has got to stop.

One of the things that Dr. Bucshon observed and brought to our attention was that when States are aggressively monitoring for fraud and when they identify a fraudulent provider, they write that person off the rolls so that that provider can't keep ripping off the taxpayers. But that information doesn't get disseminated to other States, so that fraudulent provider simply steps across the State line, sets up another operation, and starts ripping off taxpayers all over again.

This legislation addresses that rip-off. I am glad it does because we can debate about lots of things, but there is unity here about wanting to make certain that any taxpayer dollar is well spent and that it is not ripped off by a fraudulent provider. This sets up practical mechanisms for States that have identified a fraudulent provider so they may share that information with other States so they don't find themselves digging the same hole.

We have bipartisan support for this. It is a money-saving bill. The CBO estimates that it would save approximately $28 million over 10 years.

That may sound like small money; but do you want to know something?

That is real money. It is about the money, but it is also about constant vigilance so as to make sure that the programs we design for good intentions work.

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Mr. WELCH. I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Chairman, it is just what we should be doing here so we can look at things that have good intentions, like the Medicaid program, and find where there are holes in it and try to close them so that the program runs better so that taxpayer money is saved and so that the efficiency of government is enhanced.

And that is a mutual responsibility that we have so that people can have confidence that the taxpayer dollars that they are spending, whether it is for Medicaid or the Pentagon or any other program, are spent for the intended purposes and are not wasted.

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