A stunning new report reveals that the federal government made $115 billion in improper "overpayments" last year, according to Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner.
What’s worse is the fact that lawmakers think that is just a small fraction of what the federal government loses every year.
Perhaps less shocking than the amount overpaid is where the “improper payments” are being made: about half to Medicare and Medicaid programs, with other portions to departments like Defense and unemployment insurance.
“Remarkably, though, it could have been worse,” writes Bedard. “Through a program they call the Campaign to Cut Waste, the Obama administration slashed $20 billion in additional overpayments that were scheduled to be paid out.”
A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee has opened a probe into federal misspending.
According to Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), chair of the subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management, it all comes down to "bad management."
Rep. Platts says that the $115 billion cited by the administration “is only an estimate; the total amount of improper payments is unknown.”
Are there any suggestions on how to fix this?
"In a memo provided to Washington Secrets, the committee suggested that one answer is legislation proposed by Sen. Tom Carper...that establishes a 'Do Not Pay' list that would require agencies to check databases, including death lists, before issuing federal checks," Bedard reports.
Well, at least it's a start.
“Billions of taxpayer dollars are misspent every year through improper payments. The administration and agency leaders have made significant efforts to reduce improper payments and their work is both important and commendable,” Rep. Platts said.
“However, we need more solutions to better protect taxpayer money.”