Three members of Congress fear that billions of tax dollars are going to Cuba along with other foreign countries via criminal schemes that defraud Medicare and Medicaid. Senators Orrin Hatch, R-UT and Tom Coburn, R-OK along with Representative Peter Roskam, R-IL sent a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, the acting administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid, stating their concern that billions of tax dollars were being lost and potentially stolen annually.
The three men stated in their letter, “Clearly the program vulnerabilities that facilitate billions of dollars to be stolen from the Medicare program each year also allow for some of that money to be funneled to foreign countries. While the fraud itself is unacceptable, the loss of American dollars to foreign countries because of flaws in our system is totally unacceptable. The American people deserve the peace of mind to know that federal officials are doing everything they can to safeguard taxpayers’ dollars and the Medicare program.”
They then continued to refer to a report from the University of Miami which quoted a former Cuban intelligence officer saying that there were ‘strong indications’ that Cuba and more specifically Castro’s government played a role in Medicare fraud. “If confirmed, this indicates that Medicare program dollars are not only funding international criminal syndicates, but may be helping prop up the Castro government.”
Oscar Sanchez charged in late June for funneling $31 million in Medicare money to Havana demonstrates why these Congressmen have concerns and that their concerns could have some validity.