Federal $100 Billion in Waste Traced to Improper Payments

Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 01:18 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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The Office of Management and Budget claims that the federal government made $101.3 billion in improper payments and has a slim chance of recovering those funds.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said in September that a report from the Government Accountability Office found $1.3 billion in overpayments to Social Security Disability Insurance recipients as of January 2013. 

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"As we approach the debate over funding the government, President Obama and Congressional Democrats continue to propose tax increases to close the budget deficit rather than paring back unnecessary spending," Portman said. "Washington has no right to demand new taxes from families and workers while continuing to lose billions of dollars in government waste."

Social Security Insurance is intended to assist those who are disabled to the point that they can't earn a significant income, Portman noted in his statement. Most overpayments stemmed from paying SSDI benefits to those who had earned significant income during their mandatory five-month application waiting period.

Portman said additional overpayments came from continued SSDI payments to those who returned to work.

The Office of Management and Budget report says that the Department of Health and Human Service has made overpayments of $55.9 billion over the 2013 fiscal year in its seven programs.

The report says 10.1 percent of those payments made under Medicare's fee for service program, administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, should not have been made, according to the Fiscal Times.

The Office of Management and Budget report says that 9.5 percent of payments made through Medicare Part C over the 2013 fiscal year, a supplementary insurance program, were  erroneous as well. Losses for the Medicare Part C total $6.9 billion.

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