Fact Check: Are Medicare and Medicaid 'paid to crooks?'
September 13th, 2011
10:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Fact Check: Are Medicare and Medicaid 'paid to crooks?'

(CNN) - The statement: "The federal government is such a bad manager of money that somewhere between 70 and $120 billion a year in Medicare and Medicaid is paid to crooks ... I would start to balance the budget by stop paying the crooks, not by cheating honest Americans."
- former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Monday night's CNN-Tea Party Republican debate

The facts: The federal government estimates that in 2010, about 5.5% of its spending - about $125 billion - involved "improper payments" to businesses or individuals.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    That's a lot of "improper payments", after all, and the problem is, the government just figures it will waste a lot of money, and that it isn't worth worrying about, which is NOT the attitude the government should have.

    So, the charge that a lot of payments goes to crooks, is indeed valid, and looking at it in percentages, is not the real picture, because of the huge amount of money involved.

    September 13, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Of course, there is fraud. But, Republicans would rather cut the jobs of the people who investigate and root out the fraud. And, there is just as much fraud in the health insurance industry. I have had doctors and dentists charge my health insurance for visits and procedures that never took place.

    I succeeded in having one dentist charged with fraud. I had a tooth pulled, which was paid for by my personal health care account, to which I contribute. He had cleaned it out by submitting forms with my forged signature for a root canal and an implant. Doctors like to double bill, too. They send a bill to both the patient and their health insurance company.

    September 13, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Ed Texas

    Newt fails to mention the real problem with Medicare and Medicaid fraud is lack of enforcement. It cost money to enforce, something a GOP controlled Congress does not want. From Ryan's debt plan to Perry calling Medicare a "Ponzi sceme," The GOP wants to destroy Medicare and Medicaid and turn it over to Wall Street.

    September 13, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    well as long as it's misleading and not a total lie I guess ol' Newty can get a pass.

    September 13, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. gt

    of course there is fraud , waste, and improper payments... hire more auditors....you bet there is waste and crooks have a hay day living off the government dole..

    September 13, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. Lucullus NYC

    Once again Gingrich has proven himself to be a liar. It constantly amazes me that this group of moral lepers, hypocrates, liars and mentally unbalanced clowns who call themselves the GOP are more than the finge party they should be. They work for a coterie of rich people, against the American people. They misrepresent the facts, i.e., Social Security is an entitlement. It is not an entitlement, people have paid into, it's their money and they deserve it back. Let's face it the GOP offers no solutions to the nations problems and accuse anyone who disagrees with lack of answers traitors. God help America

    September 13, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. rs

    Yes Mr. Gingrich, and who are those crooks? Why health care providers, Doctors and other insurance scam artists. They are Business people and more than likely REPUBLICANS. So for the immorality of a few (likeyou), all of the poor and elderly should suffer?

    September 13, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Ray E. Georgia

    Plenty of it. That is the best reason to Eleminate Medicare from the Federal Government. There is a Case right here in the South East of Medicare Fraud. Billing Millions of Dollars to Medicare. What will the Crooks get? Probably a few months in Jail. But the Public pays and pays. So Fraud in Medicare is a great scheme for the Crooks. More lucitrave than illegal drugs. Your Government at work.

    September 13, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. Bill from GA

    Newt is right (gagggg!!) about the fraud; what he fails to mention is that the Obama administration is really attacking this fraud. Recently, the Justice Department closed down a major fraud ring operating in Florida, Texas, California and elsewhere.

    Newt also talked about job creation during his days as Speaker of the House, but failed to mention that those jobs were created under CLINTON-ERA TAX RATES. So much for higher taxes hurting job creation.

    September 13, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Sniffit

    That's right. And carefully avoid talking about or reporting the amounts of those disbursements that are actually recaptured annually...wouldn't want it to look like the net amount is smaller or there will be less controversy to sell.

    September 13, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. Emerson

    If anyone knows a crook, it would be ethics challenged Newt Gingrich.

    September 13, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |