So the claim is that the hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare savings will come from elimination of “fraud, waste and abuse.” And the Obama team will point to things like the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) and the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Account (HCFAC). They’ve got the small examples of savings in fraud and abuse, but clearly not $700 billion.
So the rest must come from waste.
Looking back at a December 2011 interview published in Medical News Today, former Medicare head Dr. Donald Berwick lists the primary components of “waste” in the Medicare program. First among them was “patients are overtreated.” We all know his solution–death panels!
As the Obama folks push their “fraud, waste and abuse” line, let’s remember that “eliminating waste” is code for “eliminating treatment.”