Hatch: Healthcare Fraud $200 Billion Annually

Friday, 04 Mar 2011 07:27 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch calls a recent General Accountability Office (GAO) report that Medicare and Medicaid fraud and waste costs the country $48 billion annually grossly understated – the figure could be as high as $200 billion a year. Hatch Thursday also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that President Barack Obama knows Obamacare is unworkable.

hatch, medicaid, fraud“It really is a bad piece of legislation, everybody knows it, including the president. I don't see why he keeps pushing it the way he is,” Hatch said. “They know it is not going to work. If he gets re-elected, I think within a couple of years he will throw his hands in the air and say: ‘It’s not working, It’s not good, we’ve go to a single-payer system.’”

Van Susteren focused on the GAO report that Medicare and Medicaid fraud costs the nation $48 billion a year in fraud and waste.

“We just had before our [Senate Finance] Committee the two top investigators in this area – they admitted it is much more than that,” Hatch said. “In fact, some have admitted it as high as over $200 billion dollars a year in fraud and waste.

“I was looking the other day and there are 20 different homelessness programs, you can extrapolate to the whole bureaucracy. This place has gone out of control,” he added. “These two top investigators over at the healthcare system are trying to go after it, the Medicare.

“I have to say, they've got 1,700 people working for them, and they are still finding fraud all over the place,” Hatch said. “We just have to do a better job. We've got to not have duplicative programs like we have. I have to admit, both sides are at fault here.”

Hatch then turned his call for reducing government waste to several states’ recent battles against bloated public-employee unions.

“Less than seven percent of our private-sector workers are union members, and [states] are starting to wake up to the fact that these government-sector unions, they are costing them an arm and a leg in taxes and expenses and everything else,” he noted.

Hatch said he had a message for embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker:

“Hang in there Scott, we all watching,” he said. “Most states don't have collective bargaining. The federal government doesn't have collective bargaining.”

The Utah senator then said the Senate needs more members attuned to the nation’s fiscal crisis.

“We have to get more fiscal conservatives here, no question. The House now has fiscal conservatives,” he said. “We've got to get people to understand the truth, because they are going to get badgered and beaten up because they trying to get things under control. We've got to have less government.”

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