Friday, October 29, 2010

$1 billion paid to dead people, senator reports

$1 billion paid to dead people, senator reports; Washington Times

All told, the government has paid out funds to some 250,000 dead people, said Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on investigations.

"Washington paid for dead people’s prescriptions and wheelchairs, subsidized their farms, helped pay their rent, and even chipped in for their heating and air conditioning bills," Mr. Coburn's report said.

Among the payments to dead people were $18 million in stimulus funds from Social Security, $92 million in Medicare claims paid for treatments prescribed by dead doctors and $8.2 million for medical supplies prescribed for dead patients.

President Obama took steps in June to try to rein in those types of mistakes by issuing a memo asking that payments be checked against the Social Security Administration's Death Master File, though Mr. Coburn said that won't catch all of the errors.

Read the rest of the article here.

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