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Boustany Opening Statement: Hearing on Reducing Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Medicare

June 15, 2010

Chairman Stark, thank you for yielding time.  And thank you Chairman Lewis and Ranking Member Herger for your thoughtful statements.  Medicare fraud has been and continues to be a very serious problem.  It costs the American taxpayers billions of dollars every year.  It depletes the Medicare trust funds of money that is desperately needed if we hope to continue providing adequate health care to our Nation’s senior citizens.  And it drives up premiums for seniors, who must help make up the loss.  With the Medicare trust expected to go bankrupt in the coming years, we simply cannot afford to lose a dime of Medicare to people who cheat the taxpayers for their own enrichment.

While the Democrats’ recently-enacted health care law includes a few symbolic anti-fraud provisions, they left numerous ideas offered by both Republicans and Democrats – as well as suggestions from the HHS Inspector General and from GAO – on the cutting room floor.  As a consequence, the health care law doesn’t do nearly as much as it could to reduce fraud in Medicare. 

I look forward to hearing from our colleagues today on additional legislative ideas to combat Medicare fraud and from Administration officials on their efforts to reduce fraud.

Thank you, Chairman Stark.  I yield back.