Senator Carper Supports Governor Markell Announcement
Carper Chairs Subcommittee Focused on Fraud, Waste, and Abuse; Hearing Recently Held
WASHINGTON (Mar. 25, 2010) – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, has focused extensively on fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. He issued the following statement today in response to Governor Markell’s proposal for a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Delaware.
Sen. Carper said: "Late last year, my subcommittee held a hearing examining controlled substance abuse in the Medicaid program. We found thousands of beneficiaries engaged in fraudulent purchases of controlled substances through Medicaid, resulting in tens of millions of taxpayer dollars lost. In many cases, these beneficiaries were abusing these drugs and selling the extra pills on the street.
"Our subcommittee found a number of ways to battle this abuse of taxpayer dollars, including the use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) as a tool to prevent and detect prescription drug misuse and diversion. Only ten states in the country do not have legislation in place to implement such programs, and unfortunately, Delaware is among this number.
"That ‘s why, following our hearing, I wrote to the Governors of those ten states, including Governor Markell, and urged them to pursue these important oversight programs. Today, I am happy to hear that Governor Markell and his administration are moving forward with these efforts.
"Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing addiction in the United States. The difference between a "street drug" like cocaine and a prescription pain pill is that in many cases federal and state governments are paying to feed this addiction, with taxpayer money. Aside from our financial responsibility, we have a social responsibility to ensure that our public health care system isn’t used to further intensify and subsidize a public health crisis.
"A Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is a clear way for Delaware to crack down on Medicaid fraud, and bring some stability to the state budget. I stand ready to offer any support or assistance they may need in helping Delaware battle the epidemic of prescription drug abuse, and the financial and physical suffering it brings."