It is easy to find examples of inefficiency, fraud and waste in just about anything government does. I doubt many people will disagree. Here is a recent example. Medicare is another. In that case you can find GAO reports going back decades noting the flaws in its claim system and still fraud is rampant.
Of course, the root cause of all that fraud is some citizens trying to cheat the system. That includes health care providers and indifferent patients. The very fact the money is coming from “government” creates a nobody gets hurt mentality in some people. The size of the bureaucracy and the transient nature of senior administrators doesn’t help either. Actually, on a daily basis hardly anybody cares. If you have a profit motive, if your job is at risk, you care. If you work for government burried in the bureaucracy, your caring is diluted at best.
Decades ago I had a contract with HHS to write a small book on HMOs. I wrote the draft and submitted it. They had many comments. I met with them, noted the comments and reworked the book several times. I resubmitted the text and never heard a word from HHS ever again… but a couple of months later the payment arrived. I don’t think you got your money’s worth for that $10,000.
All the endless examples, and yet many people remain convinced Medicare-for-all or a public option in Obamacare will save money. That’s like a student claiming his education was affordable … after he defaulted on loans or had them forgiven.
And much of this is in the accounting as well. Claims by government, politicians and many on the left use a funny math logic. Have you heard Social Security is generating a surplus? Or, there are plenty of assets in the Trust? Do you recall that Medicare has very low administrative costs? Ever wonder why?
Last week the Health and Human Services Department published an “alert” warning that the improper payment rate for Medicaid in 2016 will likely hit 11.5%. That’s nearly double the 5.8% rate as recently as 2013, and HHS helpfully suggested tools that these joint state-federal insurance programs supposedly for the poor could use to stop squandering more than one of 10 dollars they spend…
Improper payments occur as the result of fraud, overbilling by doctors and especially home health agencies, bureaucratic error and many other reasons, but also a lack of due diligence by HHS…
In recent audits of Medicaid in Arizona, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey, the GAO uncovered 50 dead people who recouped at least $9.6 million in benefits after they died; 47 providers who registered foreign addresses as their location of service in places such as Saudi Arabia; and $448 million bestowed on 199,000 beneficiaries with fake Social Security numbers—12,500 of which had never been issued by the Social Security Administration.
Source: ObamaCare’s ‘Improper’ Failure, Wall Street Journal 9-7-16