Are Billions of Medicare Dollars Going to Castro's Cuba?

Are Billions of Medicare Dollars Going to Castro's Cuba?

The same federal government that wants to take over the U.S. healthcare system may also be the same federal government who is unwittingly funneling billions of Medicare and Medicaid dollars to Castro’s Cuba.

So worry Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) in a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid.

From the Washington Examiner:

“Clearly, the program vulnerabilities that facilitate billions of dollars to be stolen from the Medicare program each year also allow for some of that money to be funneled to foreign countries,” the three congressmen said.

“While the fraud itself is unacceptable, the loss of American dollars to foreign countries because of flaws in our system is totally unacceptable. The American people deserve the peace of mind to know that federal officials are doing everything they can to safeguard taxpayers’ dollars and the Medicare program.”

“Thus far, it does not appear that CMS has addressed the concept of nominee owners, false storefronts, and shell companies in any of its enrollment regulations or its Provider Screening statement of work,” they said.

At issue is whether fraudsters are using so-called “nominees” to pose as companies that would receive Medicare and Medicaid dollars and then shuttle them outside the United States.

Last week, the Miami Herald reported one case of an alleged Medicare scam “involving 70 Florida companies and more than $70 million of fraudulent billings” that “ended up in Cuba.”

Alicia O. Valle, special counsel to the U.S Attorney, says “there is no allegation and we have no evidence that the Cuban government is involved in this case.”