I Pay Dead People: Medicare and Medicaid Misspent $23 Million On Benefits For Dead Patients


A report released Thursday by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services reveals the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – the same agency responsible for setting the  Obamacare rollout in motion – paid more than $20 million in false benefits to dead people in 2011.

According to the report, CMS paid $23 million to providers, suppliers, Medicare Advantage organizations and prescription drug plan sponsors for dead patients, as well as $29 million in drug payouts for illegal aliens.

Altogether, the payments represent a fraction of the total amount of Medicare payouts in any given year. But the misspent money still elicited recommendations from the Inspector General’s office on how CMS must tighten the vetting process.

“The OIG offered a handful of recommendations,” The Hill reported Thursday, “such as taking action against providers and suppliers that had high numbers of claims with service dates after a beneficiary’s death, as a way to minimize further inappropriate payments.”

CMS administrator Mailynn Tavenner said the Medicaid agency accepts the findings, but she didn’t elaborate much.

“We agree that in cases where the information indicates an individual is not lawfully present in the United States, that individual should not be permitted to enroll or to remain enrolled in a Part D plan during the period where he or she is not eligible to receive federal benefits,” Tavenner said.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) criticized CMS for the finding, noting that the agency had been cautioned of the potential for such egregious abuses five years before they were uncovered.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Sam

    Use fingerprint technology and the fraud will go way down.

    • podunk1

      And votes he will buy with obamacare subsidies when criminal aliens sign up. There isn’t any security for sign-up – just another promise to do! There is a voter registration provision in obamacare… selectively “pops-up” if applicant qualifies for “subsidies”!!

      Whoever was involved in doing this must be prosecuted for mass voter fraud!!!

      • Name

        Obama and the stubborn Democrats are LIARS have always been LIARS because they don’t have the guts to tell or stand up for the truth. They are going to reap what they’ve sowed when they get judged by Jesus Christ the Son of the living God.

    • dan

      if we just dipped thumbs in ink like the third worlders do….and had paper ballots to be counted IN PUBLIC…

  • Patricia Diane Jamison

    The intentions for obamacare are becoming more clear. Need any of us say anymore? Get rid of it, and make them pay it back to the taxpayers. Elections are coming, and more elections after that.

  • joe1cr

    The millions will become billions and then expand to the Obama trillions,
    it will be theft on a grand scale.

  • TeaParty Patriot

    What the hell. . . If dead people and illegal aliens can vote for the owebomb then they should get paid the same as the legal living voters.

    • Deerinwater

      Hmm? ~ I guess we know, ~ death don’t cancel out debts? ` Try it and see what happens.

  • mark

    For programs as large as Medicare and Medicaid, $23 million in fraud in infinitesimal. Social Security has much higher ones when people don’t report the death of relatives and just keep cashing their checks for several months after their deaths until the government catches on or they lose their nerve. This kind of fraud is much more substantial.

  • carl_AF

    Some of the comments say that this is such a small amount that it doesn’t matter. It should always matter that someone has the balls to steal. If the person thinks that someone is watching him/she just might decide it is not worth it to get caught and go to jail. I can remember as a kid I thought that the post office was crazy trying to catch someone stealing three cents by using a stamp twice. I was told that it creates a deterrent for others if one person is caught and punished. But heck, don’t listen to me, I still pick up a penny in the parking lot.

  • MD

    Please find the time to read this. So true.

    By Wayne Allyn Root

    There are two major political parties in America. I’m a member of the naïve, stupid, and cowardly one. I’m a Republican.

    How stupid is the GOP? They still don’t get it. ‘

    I told them 5 years ago, 2 books ago, a national bestseller ago (“The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide”), and in hundreds of articles and commentaries, that ObamaCare was never meant to help America, or heal the sick, or lower healthcare costs, or lower the debt, or expand the economy.

    The GOP needs to stop calling ObamaCare a “trainwreck.” That means it’s a mistake, or accident. That means it’s a gigantic flop, or failure. It’s NOT.

    Message to the GOP: This isn’t a game. This isn’t tiddly-winks. This is a serious, purposeful attempt to highjack America and destroy capitalism.

    This is a brilliant, cynical, and purposeful attempt to damage the U.S. economy, kill jobs, and bring down capitalism.

    It’s not a failure, it’s Obama’s grand success.

    It’s not a “trainwreck,” ObamaCare is a suicide attack. He wants to hurt us, to bring us to our knees, to capitulate- so we agree under duress to accept big government.

    Obama’s hero and mentor was Saul Alinsky — a radical Marxist intent on destroying capitalism. Alinksky’s stated advice was to call the other guy “a terrorist” to hide your own intentions.

    To scream that the other guy is “ruining America,” while you are the one actually plotting the destruction of America. To claim again and again…in every sentence of every speech…that you are “saving the middle class,” while you are busy wiping out the middle class.

    The GOP is so stupid they can’t see it. There are no mistakes here. This is a planned purposeful attack.

    The tell-tale sign isn’t the disastrous start to ObamaCare. Or the devastating effect the new taxes are having on the economy. Or the death of full-time jobs. Or the overwhelming debt. Or the dramatic increases in health insurance rates. Or the 70% of doctors now thinking of retiring- brining on a healthcare crisis of unimaginable proportions. Forget all that.

    The real sign that this is a purposeful attack upon capitalism is how many Obama administration members and Democratic Congressmen are openly calling Tea Party Republicans and anyone who wants to stop ObamaCare “terrorists.”

    There’s the clue. Even the clueless GOP should be able to see that.

    They are calling the reasonable people…the patriots…the people who believe in the Constitution … the people who believe exactly what the Founding Fathers believed…the people who want to take power away from corrupt politicians who have put America $17 trillion in debt…terrorists?

    That’s because they are Saul Alinsky-ing the GOP. The people trying to purposely hurt America, capitalism and the middle class…are calling the patriots by a terrible name to fool, confuse and distract the public.

    ObamaCare is a raving, rollicking, fantastic success. Stop calling it a failure. Here is what it was created to do. It is succeeding on all counts:

    1. ObamaCare was intended to bring about the Marxist dream — redistribution of wealth.
    Rich people, small business owners, and the middle class are being robbed, so that the money can be redistributed to poor people (who vote for Democrats).

    Think about it. If you’re rich or middle class, you now have to pay for your own health care costs (at much higher rates) AND 40 million other people’s costs too (through massive tax increases).

    So you’re stuck paying for both bills. You are left broke. Brilliant.

    2. ObamaCare was intended to wipe out the middle class and make them dependent on government.
    Think about it. Even Obama’s IRS predicts that health insurance for a typical American family by 2016 will be $20,000 per year. But how would middle class Americans pay that bill and have anything left for food or housing or living? People that make $40K, or $50K, or $60K can’t possibly hope to spend $20K on health insurance without becoming homeless.

    Bingo. That’s how you make middle class people dependent on government. That’s how you make everyone addicted to government checks. Brilliant.

    3. As a bonus, ObamaCare is intended to kill every decent paying job in the economy, creating only crummy, crappy part-time jobs.
    Why? Just to make sure the middle class is trapped, with no way out. Just to make sure no one has the $20,000 per year to pay for health insurance, thereby guaranteeing they become wards of the state. Brilliant.

    4. ObamaCare is intended to bankrupt small business, and therefore starve donations to the GOP.
    Think about it. Do you know a small business owner? I know hundreds of them. Their rates are being doubled, tripled and quadrupled by ObamaCare.

    Guess who writes 75% of the checks to Republican candidates and conservative causes? The GOP.

    Even if a small business owner manages to survive, he or she certainly can’t write a big check to the GOP anymore. Money is the “mother’s milk” of politics. Without donations, a political party ceases to exist. Bingo.

    That’s the point of ObamaCare. Obama is bankrupting his political opposition and drying up donations to the GOP. Brilliant.

    5. ObamaCare is intended to make the IRS all-powerful.
    It adds thousands of new IRS agents. It puts the IRS in charge of overseeing 15% of the U.S. economy. The IRS has the right because of ObamaCare to snoop into every aspect of your life, to go into your bank accounts, to fine you, to frighten you, to intimidate you. And Obama and his socialist cabal have access to your deepest medical secrets.

    By law your doctor has to ask your sexual history. That information is now in the hands of Obama and the IRS to blackmail GOP candidates into either not running, or supporting bigger government, or leaking the info and ruining your campaign.

    Or have you forgotten the IRS harassed, intimidated and persecuted critics of Obama and conservative groups?

    Now Obama hands the IRS even more power. Big Brother rules our lives. Brilliant.

    6. ObamaCare is intended to unionize 15 million healthcare workers.
    That produces $15 billion in new union dues. That money goes to fund Democratic candidates and socialist causes — thereby guaranteeing Obama’s friends never lose another election, and Obama’s policies keep ruining capitalism and bankrupting business owners long after he’s out of office.

    Message to the GOP: This isn’t a game. This isn’t tiddly-winks. This is a serious, purposeful attempt to highjack America and destroy capitalism.

    This isn’t a trainwreck. It’s purposeful suicide.

    It’s not failing, it’s working exactly according to plan. Obama knows what he’s doing. Stop apologizing and start fighting.

    Oh and one more thing…Conservatives aren’t “terrorists.” We are patriots and saviors. We represent the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. We are the heroes and good guys. Unless you get all this through your thick skulls, America is lost…forever.

    Wayne Allyn Root is capitalist evangelist, entrepreneur, and Libertarian-conservative Republican. He is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. Wayne’s latest book is “The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: Secrets to Protecting Your Family, Your Finances, and Your Freedom.” For more, visit his website: http://www.ROOTforAmerica.com. Follow him on Twitter@WayneRoot

    • Deerinwater

      Hmm? I’m having sort of a problem with #4.

      “4. ObamaCare is intended to bankrupt small business, and therefore starve donations to the GOP.Think about it. Do you know a small business owner? I know hundreds of them. Their rates are being doubled, tripled and quadrupled by ObamaCare.”

      What makes you think any hurt won’t be shared equally regardless of political affiliation? Unless you are assuming small business owner are all Republicans and everyone in Jail , on food stamps and drawing unemployment are democrats. It seems that many alleged conservatives want to believe this, while it simply not true. Not at all.

      An Employer based health care system might have worked well, ~ when there were enough people employed and being paid a wage where by a person could house , cloths and feed ones self from the “earning” .

      The dynamics associated with “funding” has changed in America today while the “need” for health care hasn’t. That this change may not be affecting you personally today and you find yourself immune to this change (like I have) does not mean that a serious problem in the old system did not exist.

      i don’t know if this “Reform” is a answer to our problems or not. While something needed to be done to address this disparity.

      To find ones self on the winning side of disparity for 30 years has created a class of “entitlement”. ~ They would claim that they “earned it”. but if that be so, ~ then why the need for Federal subsidizes?

      Legislation does create rich and poor people alike, by opening doors to some citizens and closing doors to other.

      I do agree with the thrust of your argument MD, ~ this legislation is a major “Deal Changer” and the effects long lasting.

      We was already socialist, deny it as we may, ~attempting to claim ourselves as Capitalist.

      Neither capitalism or socialism can supply sound answers to all of other problems. Some latitude between the two has been helpful to keep our little train on the track. While the devil lies waiting in the details.

      The Information Age and New World Order is sweeping us over and many are being displaced by this event. An event equal to the shifting from a agricultural age to an industrial age. ~ For it too displaced many and was not welcomed by some.

      I have faith, it will be sorted out and the world won’t come to an end. While uncertainly will rule the day, as some with get rich and some will get poor depending on what doors of opportunity open and close.

      Employer’s don’t need to be shackled to providing Health Care , this was the first step in the wrong direction. The 800 pound gorilla in the room that everyone seems to want to ignore.

  • Milly Vanilly

    HEY… these are Barry/Obama’s Zombie army….he said healthcare for everyone, that includes Zombies…LOL !

    The ship of FOOLS is taking on water & sinking !

  • Kathryn

    Kathryn, What IDOIT’s do we have paying the Medicare bills maybe they should just be fired.kathryn


    i hope you all aren’t as stupid as obama thinks you are?these false payments to dead people(that the gov’t refuses to investigate)is actually…wait for it…going to illegal aliens,from stolen SS#.that right.farms here in Wisconsin hire thousands of illegals every year,some get busted from nosey people calling ICE,but those workers that get arrested are back in short term or following season!and they tell trusted people,employees that they have(bought) working SS#’s!?!!
    they buy them from groups of people who(is their job)to steal or obtain SS#’s for this purpose,not to sell over seas to Africa for scammers(they get their own SS#’s and information)this is a big biusness for these people,some illegals have had these #’s for decades and getting benifits for those decades,and the gov’t knows it!
    why you think Pelosi(and hundreds of corrupt cops in tow) went running around with thousands of illegals and the illegal aliens were cheering for her with no fear of arrest??the fix is in mand the gov’t is helping!
    and now these illegals with these fraudulant SS#’s will be cemented in the gov’t system with obamacare,or should i say democratic voters!?!