More Fines Leveled Against Companies Found Defrauding Govt. in Obama Administration Than Last Three Administrations Combined

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 15, 2016
Whistle Money

The Obama Administration has collected $31.3 billion from companies that were found to have defrauded the government, more than has been collected during the last three presidential administrations combined, according to The Wall Street Journal. These penalties account for 59 percent of the $53 billion collected from such cases since 1986, most of which have had to do with overcharges to federal health programs like Medicaid and Medicare. For example, the government reached a $784 million settlement with Pfizer over allegations that it had overcharged Medicaid for the heartburn drug Protonix, according to the WSJ.

The Justice Department attributed its improvement to the increasing number of whistleblowers coming forward with fraud information as well as increased funding that has allowed it to better pursue health care fraud claims, such as through creating a special task force in 2009 allowing prosecutors to obtain real time access to health care spending data.

While these sums are certainly impressive, fraud remains an expensive problem for the federal government. A report last year from the Government Accountability Office that looked at 124 programs across 22 agencies found that in 2014 alone the federal government made $124.7 billion worth of improper payments, up from $105.8 billion the previous year. This increase came primarily from Medicare, Medicaid and Earned Income Tax Credit programs, account for 75 percent of the total improper payment estimate.

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