This week, a congresswoman from Florida doubled down on her efforts to cut down on Medicare fraud.
U.S. Rep. Lois Frakel, D-Fla., joined up with U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, D-Mass., to bring back the “Fighting Medicare Fraud Act” which they first launched in 2014. They also brought the bill back in 2016. As they geared up to he two representatives noted that Medicare frauds costs taxpayers between $60-$90 billion each year.
“Medicare is health care for our seniors. Because of our large retirement population, Florida is ground zero for fraud and exploitation,” said Frankel on Thursday.“This legislation provides a vehicle to go after bad actors who are scamming the system for financial gains.”
“After a lifetime of working, the last thing our seniors need is to worry about being defrauded,” said Keating. “Our bill protects beneficiaries by forcing offenders out of the Medicare system while improving transparency along the way, saving billions of dollars in fraud losses per year. This legislation is a common-sense solution to an increasing problem.”
Frankel’s proposal would, according to her office, “close a loophole that corrupt CEOs and corporations have used to continue abusing Medicare” because “currently, if a company is under investigation for Medicare fraud and the CEO resigns before receiving a penalty, he or she may legally start a new company and potentially launch a new Medicare fraud scheme." The bill would also ensure that Medicare Advantage and Part D organizations report potential abuse and fraud.
The Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare have thrown their support behind the legislation.
First elected to Congress in 2012 after a lengthy stint in Florida politics, including service in the state House and as mayor of West Palm Beach, Frankel is one of two Democrats in the Florida delegation who is facing no opposition this year and is assured of two more years in Congress.
READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS