These judicial acrobats add to the pressures the administration is already facing from health care industry lobbyists who want to reduce the impact of the law.
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As the health care debate raged onwards in 2009, the number of uninsured American adults rose by 3 million from 2008. Overall, approximately 46.3 million people in this country do not have health insurance covered. In Texas, over one out of every four people was uninsured in 2009, compared to the 15.4 percent nationally.
This past Friday July 16 at a press conference in Miami Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that over 360 federal agents had raided the homes and offices of Medicare fraudsters accused of stealing over $251 million. Authorities say most of the thirty-six individuals arrested Friday were based in Miami, though other operations shut down in the bust were located in places like New York City, Detroit, Houston, and Baton Rouge. Ninety-four people were indicted in total as a result of the sting. Authorities claim the suspects – which include several doctors and nurses – billed Medicare for unnecessary equipment, HIV treatments, and physical therapy that their patients never received. Hidden surveillance equipment caught clinic owners and doctor’s offices paying patients (and undercover agents) under the table in exchange for use of their Medicare numbers and offering bonus rewards to patients who would recruit others to the scam.
Every year, both seniors and the government lose quality health care and billions of dollars to corrupt providers. Medicare fraud isn’t new, but as the new health care reforms have passed, fraud has been in the spotlight. Medicare fraud affects everyone, from the government to seniors to taxpayers.
On May 13, 2009 the trustees of Medicare and Social Security released a report detailing the impending insolvency of our nation’s two biggest entitlement programs: Medicare in 2017 and Social Security in 2037. Projections have pushed these bankruptcy dates up from the previous report’s estimates of 2019 for Medicare and 2041 for Social Security. What can we do about this?
By 2014, each and every American will have an electronic medical record of their own. Electronic medical records (EMR) are “paperless paperwork,” or computerized copies of patient records, and the federal government hopes to make wide use of them to cut down health costs. The Obama administration’s health information technology program plans on offering incentives and subsidies to medical providers who make use of electronic records. By 2014, all doctors will be required to have Health IT or will face a penalty.