CNN: Are Medicare and Medicaid ‘Paid To Crooks’

Kaiser Health News, September 13, 2011

The federal government estimates that in 2010, about 5.5 percent of its spending — about $125 billion — involved “improper payments” to businesses or individuals.  About $70 billion came from Medicare, the federal health programs for seniors, and Medicaid, which provides medical insurance for low-income Americans.  Those programs involve more than $660 billion.  But “improper payments” is a broad category that not only includes fraud, but administrative errors and overpayments.  The low end of [Newt] Gingrich’s claim of Medicare and Medicaid fraud losses is roughly what the federal government has reported for erroneous payment — but since the figure includes ordinary clerical mistakes, the former speaker’s estimate likely overstates the actual amount lost to “crooks,” (9/13).

 

Nurses feel secure in jobs but not about retirement (excerpt)

Health Care Finance News, September 12, 2011

…. The 2011 Fidelity Investments Nurses Study, …. Recession causes revaluation of physician’s retirement plans…. 79 percent of nurses responding to the survey said they feel secure about their jobs and their financial future even though nearly all respondents said they expect changes in their profession due to healthcare reform, the tough economy and rising costs…. Respondents said that they expect in the next five to ten years, a shortage of qualified workers, more demanding hours and more nurses leaving the profession…. Seventy-one percent said they don’t feel they are saving enough for their retirement…. 26 percent saying they now plan on retiring later than they had originally planned and 42 percent saying they believe they will never fully retire.  Of th ose saying they will not retire, 79 percent said they will continue to work because they need to meet basic living expenses.

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