While at the same time as passing new legislation requiring all US citizens to take out health insurance, the federal Government is cracking down on medicare fraud. In fact according to the health department 111 doctors, nurses and other medical people have been charged with making false billings.
Health care reform is a very hot topic in the United States, with many Republicans opposed to the reforms espoused by the Obama administration, saying that costs are too high for those on medicare. Apparently around 45 million elderly and disabled Americans use the scheme.
The crackdown is seemingly the largest of its type, with more than $225 million said to be involved.
Reform of medicare forms part of Obama’s legislation, but is strongly opposed by many Republicans. What’s more they have been actively trying to derail the new laws, due to be enacted in 2014 by various methods, citing them as being unconstitutional. Others have tried tagging on amendments related to other issues such as abortion.
The 111 defendants were charged with a number of different crimes including conspiracy to defraud, money laundering, accepting kickbacks and making false claims. The claims themselves also ranged from occupational therapy services to medical testing and treatments.
Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters: “Although today marks a critical step forward in combating and deterring illegal activity, our work is far from over.”