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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

In his address to Congress, President Obama asserted that "most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system, a system that is currently full of waste and abuse."

For decades, however, presidents have been waging war on waste and declaring progress.
  • Dwight Eisenhower: "The strong expansion of the economy, coupled with a constant care for efficiency in Government operations and an alert guard against controllable waste and duplication, has brought us to a prospective balance between income and expenditure.
  • John F. Kennedy: "The notable progress made by the Department of Defense in reducing costs and eliminating waste is typical of the government-wide effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations."
  • Lyndon Johnson: "We are cutting waste where we find it. We are cutting inefficiency where we can prove it. We are cutting out the nonessentials so we can better support what is essential."
  • Richard Nixon: "Our search for waste has led us into every nook and cranny of the bureaucracy. "
  • Gerald Ford: "I am shaking up and shaking out inefficiency and waste wherever I find it."
  • Jimmy Carter: "One of my major commitments has been to restore public faith in our Federal government by cutting out waste and inefficiency. In the past four years, we have made dramatic advances toward this goal, many of them previously considered impossible to achieve."
  • Ronald Reagan: "[W]e launched an all-out campaign against fraud, waste and abuse at the Federal level."
  • George H.W. Bush: "And I sent Congress my first line-item rescissions, cutting $3.6 billion in unneeded wasteful spending These rescissions will serve notice to Congress that the days of wasteful spending are over."
  • Bill Clinton: "Medicare fraud and waste are more than an abuse of the system; they’re an abuse of the taxpayer. By overbilling, charging for phony procedures, and selling substandard supplies, Medicare cheats cost taxpayers hundreds of millions a year. That’s why we’ve assigned more Federal prosecutors and FBI agents than ever to fight this kind of fraud, and why we’ve invested in new tools to investigate and prosecute these crimes. All told, our efforts have prevented the wasteful spending of an estimated $50 billion, and aggressive enforcement has recovered nearly $1.6 billion for the Medicare Trust Fund."
  • George W. Bush: "Fought health care fraud and waste by cutting wasteful spending out of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Medicare bill that the President signed will cut wasteful spending and save seniors and taxpayers an estimated $20 billion over the next decade."