This week the House GOP budget chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan, released a proposed budget plan that, he claims, would eliminate the federal deficit in ten years. To accomplish such a feat, the proposal calls for significant cuts in various programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. It eliminates the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), while keeping the revenue enhancements in place.
While we all might have different views on how to handle these budgetary issues, virtually everyone agrees that waste and misspent funds within these programs should be rooted out. When we are considering eliminating support for programs that many vulnerable community members depend on, at the very least it is critical to ensure that the money that we are spending is going toward vital services and not unnecessarily enriching those abusing the process.
Yet, cases still pop up of doctors (and entire facilities) failing to follow Medicare and Medicaid guidelines–milking significant funds from public coffers unnecessarily. Not only that but significant harm can actual befall patients as a result of this misconduct.