04:12 GMT04 March 2021
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    The US government’s half a trillion dollars annual Medicaid program is a high risk and it wasted $17.5 billion in improper payments in a single fiscal year.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Government Accountability Office (GAO) considered Medicaid a high-risk program due to its size, growth, diversity and gaps in oversight identified by GAO's work, according to a report released Wednesday.

    Medicaid’s size and diversity, the GAO explained, make it vulnerable to improper payments, which totaled an estimated $17.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2014.

    The issue is a significant one for the US government because Medicaid is a significant component of federal and state budgets, the GAO pointed out.

    Medicaid programs had total estimated outlays of $508 billion in fiscal year 2014, of which $304 billion was financed by the federal government and $204 billion by the US states, the report said.

    The GAO noted it had already produced a large body of work on challenges facing Medicaid, and on gaps in US federal oversight in a series of reports extending through June 2015.

    "The GAO has made over 80 recommendations regarding Medicaid,” the report said. “[It] continues to believe that its recommendations have merit and should be implemented.”

    The Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the US Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

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    Tags:
    healthcare, Medicaid, US Government Accountability Office (GAO), US Congress, Washington, DC, US
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