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The -- -- continues and likely will for some time on what to do about entitlement programs such as Medicare.
But two senators one from each side of the aisle are proposing their own plan to fix a growing problem with the health plan fraud.
They want to open the Medicare database kept hidden from the public for more than thirty years to show what positions make off the taxpayer funded program.
One of those senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa joins us now senator welcome great to CO.
Thank you -- I'm really get to this that Medicare fraud issue in just a second but first I want to ask you about the budget.
Will you vote for the budget.
If you're talking about the agreement of last.
Friday Friday night the answer is definitely well -- I've voted.
For when we saved four maybe eight billion dollars where we say six billion dollars.
Now it's up to 38 and a half billion and that would be 78 billion for the full twelve months.
There's never been an -- like this since I've been in congress.
To save this kind of money and yes I'm horrible port.
And I hope that -- you understand that this is a direct result of the last two elections elections are supposed to have consequences.
And I think you're seeing.
The consequences the last election playing out with this most recent.
Well that you know after the president -- Battled these cuts he then once they were agreed to.
Presented them as a big win for everybody so I guess that's a bit of a turnaround there.
I would you respond to something David -- the senior advisor to the president had to say over the weekend about what comes next for the 2012 budget.
Listen we can't take a machete we have to take a scalpel.
We're gonna have to -- -- an -- careful what you have to do is go line by line this can't be some macro argument about big numbers you've got to look at the detail.
And make -- a judgment on each one.
Cell machete or scalpel what we need senator.
He either way it's the amount of money that's going to be cut -- it's a principle behind it.
That ought to make the big difference.
-- ask us to Apple's OK with me.
But we'll -- what you've got to save is you can't have this level of expenditures that we have right now.
Where for fifty years.
The governments who was spending about 20% of the gross national product.
It's up to 45%.
Now it's -- -- a lot higher we don't intervene.
We've got to get it back down to that point 8% level and that's a principle we should be working on how do you get there and how long does it take to get there that's.
That's what I would look at.
Well -- you and senator Ron Wyden have been taking a machete but to met you wanna take it to Medicare fraud which is some.
48 billion dollars a voice that's a very very big number.
Totally what do you what -- overturn a court injunction that bars government from revealing the names of individual doctors and their billing with Medicare how would that help.
OK before I answer your question I don't want to lead you to -- -- also believe that if we get this bill passed is going to take care -- led 48.
Billion dollars or sixty billion dollars but it's going to help us in the process and what we want to do is.
Make sure that anybody that gets Medicare.
Payments that that information made public along the lines.
Two other operations -- government if you wanna see what a defense contractor gets paid.
That information is public and I'm not I happen to be a farmer -- represent a lot of farmers in Iowa and if you want to know what.
-- -- -- -- -- Gets from the farm program.
The Environmental Working Group has Internet site.
Where you can go with any information and find out how much Chuck Grassley got how much any other Farmar got from the farm program and we -- -- set up the same thing.
For doctors getting paid for Medicare.
Because we think it's going to give a lot of information.
That maybe would show that there's procedures being done that shouldn't be done there's people gaming the system.
And just a lot of information that we can get out of that put them with the basic principle is.
That the public's business ought to be public so we're spending.
250 billion dollars on Medicare we don't know where that -- Well the American Medical Association doesn't agree with TO their presidents.
James -- hack.
Had this to say said Medicare claims data alone cannot identify quality care and the public release of Medicare claims data without the complete medical record due process.
Would often be misleading inaccurate and disruptive.
What do you make of that.
Well we give back to the base well first of all I disagree within that is.
There were worried about equality or anything else -- are all very important things that take into the practice of medicine.
But what we want to do is is people what they get paid.
It's taxpayers' money the public ought to have a right to -- -- because transparency brings accountability to the right to know brings accountability.
And -- -- we need more accountability in this spend.
Expenditures -- taxpayer dollars particularly -- in a program as big as Medicare that's got the amount of fraud via.
Well senator you know it's interesting the Wall Street Journal also won -- the folks on this network news court.
They did an investigation this they were actually able to look at this database.
Poor through the names tore through the amounts of -- these people received.
And when you do that.
You find the people who -- cheating the system the people who were single family practitioners making two million dollars a year from Medicare it's not that hard.
Do you think that it's being done on on a broader basis and -- those -- names out into the public so people can see who's cheating.
Well the answer to that is yes and that's superb reserve legislation.
But it is it's something that we're doing just for doctors there -- several other places that ought to be.
That it is being done in government I mentioned farming -- mention defense contractors.
And listen when you get right down to what every expenditure of the taxpayers' dollars ought to be visible someplace on the Internet today.
-- Then you get more accountability.
Well let me back talk more about this to see how what your effort to make these names public goes appreciate your time today senator Grassley.
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