Sens. Carper, Coburn Welcome Introduction of House Companion Bill to Fight Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Medicare and Medicaid

WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) welcomed the announcement that Reps. John Carney (D-Del.) and Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) introduced a companion bill to the Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act (FAST Act) in the House of Representatives. The bipartisan legislation would address a set of problems that leads to tens of billions of dollars lost to waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid every year. The FAST Act, which Sens. Carper and Coburn introduced in June, has 31 Senate cosponsors.

“There is no single solution that will solve our nation’s current fiscal dilemma, but there are numerous steps we can take to rein in wasteful spending and begin to restore fiscal order. The FAST Act is one of those steps,” said Sen. Carper, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management. “The FAST Act puts important tools in place to help us reduce waste and fraud in these two vital programs that millions of American depend on while achieving our deficit reduction goals. This is the right thing to do, both for the health of Medicare and Medicaid, and for our federal budget as a whole. I am proud to join with Congressmen Carney and Roskam, as well as Senator Coburn and many others on both sides of the aisle in this important effort.”

“I applaud my House colleagues for introducing the FAST Act today. As Congress faces unsustainable debt and runaway entitlement programs, Americans want us to work together to strengthen the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” said Sen. Coburn, M.D. “As much as $100 billion may be lost to Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud, and abuse each year. At a time when organized crime rings are defrauding Medicare and thieves can pilfer stolen beneficiary numbers on the black market, we must enact strong reforms. By improving data-sharing, increasing penalties, enhancing systems, and implementing other common-sense steps, this bill will reduce the billions of dollars lost each year to fraud.”

Among its provisions, the FAST Act would: enact stronger penalties for Medicare fraud; curb improper payments and establish stronger fraud and waste prevention strategies to help phase out the practice of “pay and chase”; curb the theft of physician identities; expand the fraud identification and reporting work of the Senior Medicare Patrol; take steps to help states identify and prevent Medicaid overpayments; improve the sharing of fraud data across agencies and programs; and deploy cutting-edge technology to better identify and prevent fraud.

The FAST Act has garnered support from a number of organizations including AARP, Citizens Against Government Waste, Center for American Progress, the National Taxpayers Union and Taxpayers for Common Sense.