Waste, fraud, and abuse within Medicaid costs taxpayers billions of dollars and steals limited resources from the truly needy. A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows just how bad the problem has gotten in recent years.
In 2019, taxpayers paid out nearly $100 billion in improper Medicaid spending, including more than $57 billion at the federal level. That means more than one out of every seven dollars spent on Medicaid over the last year was improper. What’s driving that? Massive eligibility errors and enrollment fraud.
Between 2010 and 2014, eligibility errors accounted for a whopping 60 percent of all improper Medicaid spending. But then the Obama administration stopped collecting this eligibility-related information altogether. This information freeze didn’t stop state-level audits from uncovering significant problems, though.