The Oklahoma attorney general's office has filed 16 counts of Medicaid fraud against the manager of an Oklahoma City optometry clinic. Robert C. Camp Jr. allegedly billed the Oklahoma Health Care Authority $359,459 for eyeglasses that were never manufactured or delivered in 2011. Even after the clinic closed, Camp reportedly billed OHCA for 57 additional pairs of glasses.
This isn't the first such case. In 2011 Lance Faulkner, a prosthetic limb maker in Tecumseh, was indicted for illegally seeking more than $4 million from Medicare and Medicaid without proper prescriptions. In many instances, no prosthetic was delivered.
Medicare losses are estimated to total at least $60 billion annually to waste, fraud and abuse. Sadly, the government is often inept at detecting even obvious fraud. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., noted that Medicare and Medicaid spent $102 million over four years to find just $20 million in overpayments.
LeMieux authored a law allowing the use of analytics technology to identify fraudulent Medicare/Medicaid payments, as is common among banks and credit card companies. But instead of using vendors with a background in predictive analytics technology, the government awarded the contract to defense and telecommunications contractors. Not surprisingly, the results have been less than stellar.
In his Wastebook 2012 report, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, noted that nearly 7,000 Medicaid providers in just three states owed $791 million in unpaid federal taxes — but got $6.6 billion in Medicaid reimbursements in a single year. The IRS can't garnish a provider's Medicaid payments to collect those taxes.
Liberals often justify government expansion based on good intentions, not actual results. That's understandable given their track record. But voters should keep in mind that big government not only forces you to pay for programs you may not personally support, but often forces you to pay for things that don't even exist.