Improper controls cause hundreds of millions in payments

According to public numbers, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid paid more than $125 million for treatment of thousands of our nation’s prison inmates and illegal aliens between the years 2009 and 2011, a cost that could have been prevented if proper controls were in place.

“The federal government is generally prohibited from providing Medicare services to incarcerated individuals or aliens who are unlawfully present in the country under the Social Security Act,” reported the Washington Free Beacon.  “But CMS’s screening methods were not able to detect and recoup payments that violated the Act.”

Had the controls been in place, much of the improper payments could have been prevented.  Instead, government bureaucracy fails again, costing the American taxpayer millions.

According to the Free Beacon report, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid launched a nearly $80 million plan to improve their computer systems.  The center claims the new system saved over $100 million in 2012 alone.

Sandy relief bill filled with expensive pet project funding

Radar image of Hurricane SandyRepublican Representative Harold Rogers has introduced a $17 billion so-called “Hurricane Sandy Recovery” bill (H.R. 152) that would provide federal funding to the victims of the devastating hurricane that ravaged the northeast late last year.  Unfortunately, the bill contains hundreds of millions of unrelated spending on pet projects aimed at keeping career politicians gainfully employed.

According to an analysis from Taxpayers for Common Sense, the bill contains intentionally generalized language that effectively lets large portions of the relief fund get diverted into spending virtually anywhere, amounting to another slush fund for political initiatives.

For example, TCS writes:

“$150M for Interior expenses related to Sandy or other activities related to storms and natural disasters avail until expended; funds to restore and rebuild parks, refuges, public assets; increase resiliency of coastal habitat and infrastructure; protect natural and cultural values; this money can go anywhere in the department (seems like a slush fund).”

“$921M for federal-aid highways (does not appear to be trust fund related).”

“$821 million for Operation & Maintenance funding to dredge federal channels and repair corps projects NATIONWIDE related to natural disasters (very likely to go to Mississippi River dredging in the St. Louis area).”

Read TCS’s complete analysis of the legislation: http://www.taxpayers.org/library/article/brief-analysis-of-selected-provisions-in-proposed-senate-supplemental-appro.