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Fraud Contributes to Higher Health Insurance Costs

People may remain divided over the future course of healthcare reform, but one thing they do tend to agree on is that fraud costs the system, resulting in higher insurance costs for the public.

With that in mind, some members of the U.S. Senate are hoping to launch new efforts to combat Medicare and Medicaid fraud scams that cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

Senator Ted Kaufman, a Delaware Democrat, has introduced legislation that would upgrade the government's efforts to prosecute waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid systems, as well as the private health insurance system.

"Fraud perpetrated against both public and private health plans costs between $72 and $220 billion annually, increasing the cost of medical care and health insurance and undermining public trust in our health care system," said Senator Kaufman in a recent floor speech.

A related problem that has become more common in the current economy is medical identity theft, which can result in dangerously inaccurate medical records and millions of additional dollars lost to fraud.

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