Medicaid, and Medicaid fraud, are an ever increasing concern, and burden, for the tax payer in America.
For those of you who live outside of the US, Medicaid is a health program sponsored and funded by the government.
The bulk of this funding comes through local state taxation and only the poorest sectors in society qualify to receive such aid.
It is pretty well the case that anyone who works, even if it is only part-time and for minimum wage, will be exempt from claiming medicaid.
Obviously there will be some special cases, however, medicaid is generally aimed at the disabled, handicapped or homeless.
As the treatment that such people receives is ‘free’, it is generally accepted that the quality of service they receive is inferior to that which a ‘paying patient’ may reasonably expect.
I’m sure much could be made of the morality questions associated with such a two tier system of health care.
The fact that Medicaid is free has, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to an increase in related fraud.
Citizens will lie about incomes, or even create fake identities, in order to receive free health care.
For some, this may be because the cost to them is otherwise almost prohibitive but for many I would guess they are just looking to avoid paying for purely fraudulent and greed-driven reasons.
The amount of Medicaid that is applied for each year is increasing at a huge rate, requiring millions of dollars in taxes to fund itself.
This increases the tax burden on the honest citizen, as well as increasing national debt through the government’s contributions.
Is there an effective solution to the problem of medicaid fraud?
Sure, those who abuse or cheat the system can be prosecuted, but is that enough, and is it a long-term answer?
The world’s demographics are changing.
Ironically, improvements in health care have led to sharp increases in life expectancy.
In simple terms, this increases the number of aged people who are likely to need a free, cheap or subsidised health service whilst offering up proportionately less younger members of society to pay for it via taxation.
Should all countries of the world expect their people to buy health care insurance, with ever-increasing premiums, or can a National Health Service, such as we have here in the UK, continue to offer a system that is, in theory at least, funded by the state?