The Looting of Medicare

Those who advocate using the federal Medicare program as a model for “universal health care” in America claim that it only spends two percent of its budget on administrative functions.

But that pales in comparison to what Harvard professor Malcolm Sparrow believes may be the 20 percent eaten up in fraud and mismanagement. This Sunday’s Parade magazine reported that Sparrow sees $70 billion of Medicare’s 400 billion dollar budget going toward false claims and mischarges.

So the next time someone tells you that Medicare is an efficient model for a single-payer system, tell them they’d better find another payer.

Steve Buckstein is Senior Policy Analyst and founder of Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland-based think tank.