The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) spent almost $29 million to cover Medicare Part D prescription drugs for 4,139 individuals “unlawfully present” in the U.S. and thus ineligible to receive federal health care benefits, according to an audit by Daniel Levinson, inspector general of the Department of Health & Human Services.
CMS “inappropriately accepted 279,056 PDE [prescription drug event] records with unallowable gross drug costs totaling $28,990,718” between 2009 and 2011, Levinson reported. Total federal expenditures under Medicare Part D during that same two-year time period came to $227 billion.
Medicare Parts A and B cover hospitalization, skilled nursing care, doctor visits, and other medical services and supplies. The IG previously reported in January that CMS had also paid $91.6 million to health care providers to cover 2,600 ineligible illegal aliens.
And with them flooding the border in record numbers and ObamaCare and besides:
“When a Mexican, or any other citizen, crosses a boarder, let’s say illegally, they are not committing a crime. They are doing it illegally, but they are not committing a crime. No, they are not. Check your law,” Public Affairs Minister Ariel Moutsatos-Morales says. (CNS)
The unallowable payments were made by CMS despite the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which prohibits illegal aliens from receiving federal health care benefits, and CMS’ own 2003 memo warning: “Make no payments for Medicare services furnished to an alien beneficiary who is not lawfully present in the United States.”
Like Liberals care about The Rule of Law. They care about the Rule of The Agenda.
Medicare Part D is a voluntary program that requires individuals who are entitled to benefits under Part A or enrolled in Part B to opt in by filling out a form to enroll in a federally approved prescription drug plan that has a contract with CMS. Enrollee premiums cover about a quarter of the overall cost, with Medicare picking up the rest.
Each time a Medicare Part D beneficiary fills a prescription, his or her plan sponsor is required to fill out a PDE and submit it to CMS. Medicare Part D providers receive “prospective payments…based on information in the sponsors’ approved annual bids” which are later reconciled with actual prescription costs.
CMS uses data from the Social Security Administration to determine Medicare eligibility, but “CMS did not have a policy addressing payments for unlawfully present beneficiaries under Medicare Part D that was equivalent to the existing policy that covers payments for these beneficiaries under Parts A and B,” the IG reported.
“Because CMS did not have such a policy, it did not have internal controls to identify and disenroll unlawfully present beneficiaries and to automatically reject PDE records associated with them,” auditors noted.
The IG recommended that CMS “develop and implement controls to ensure that Medicare does not pay for prescription drugs for unlawfully present beneficiaries” by preventing them from enrolling, disenrolling those already in the Medicare Part D system, and “automatically rejecting PDE records submitted by sponsors for prescription drugs provided to this population.”
The IG also recommended that CMS take steps to recover the $29 million. However, CMS said that “there was no effective way to fully recover the improper payments in question without first implementing the appropriate policies and procedures” that would have prevented the overpayment problem in the first place. (CNS)
The electricity price index and the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity both hit records for May, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average price for a KWH hit 13.6 cents during the month, up about 3.8 percent from 13.1 cents in May 2013.
The seasonally adjusted electricity price index rose from 201.431 in May 2013 to 208.655 in May 2014—an increase of about 3.6 percent.
If the prevailing trend holds, the price of electricity will hit an all-time record high this summer, when demand for electricity is at its peak.
And remember Obama is having the EPA screw these producers of electricity for his “green” agenda so that they’ll go even higher. But hey, that’s “fighting” “Global Warming” for you… 🙂
In 2008, President Obama said he would “bankrupt” coal plant owners and force energy prices across the U.S. to “skyrocket” as part of his plan to combat global warming – and now a new EPA rule on power plant emissions promises to do just that, slashing as much as 40 percent of the nation’s power supply and possibly even doubling Americans’ energy bills.
“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted” Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board in January 2008.
He added, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to, uh, retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.” (WND)
The Agenda is The Agenda!
Daniel Simmons, vice president of policy at the Institute for Energy Research told WND the new rule slashes emissions standards in half from existing levels, and he believes future coal plants are not the only targets here.
“If they are able to do this, and if they get away with it, they will then go after existing coal-fired power plants,” Simmons warned.
According to Simmons, coal provides about 40 percent of the nation’s power supply, and it is not at all clear how that would be replaced.
“That’s a heck of a lot of electricity that would have to be made up somewhere. We’re talking about dramatically increasing the cost of electricity all to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. I think that is the real goal,” said Simmons, who has not officially crunched the numbers but firmly believes if the EPA proceeds with the rule it will have disastrous effects on American pocketbooks and the economy at large.
“It could get awfully expensive,” he said. “Some people might see their electricity rates double. If there’s no backup power plants, that means electricity is going to get awfully expensive when you have shortages around the country. If we want to build manufacturing in this country again, the cost of electricity is critical. Otherwise, companies are going to go places where electricity is reliable and inexpensive, and the EPA is trying to make it so that the electricity in the United States is neither reliable nor inexpensive.” (WND)
But you’ll get stuck with the bill!! 🙂
Don’t worry, Be Happy…