...27,000 doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and hospices paid by Medicare failed to pay more than $2 billion in federal taxes in 2006.Now that is what I call cutting out the middleman. Apparently it is not the first time this back-and-forth in taxes has become a one-way flow:
The report, ordered by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's investigations panel, is the result of the third tax-fraud probe involving health-care providers. Last year, the GAO found 21,000 of Medicare's doctors and outpatient services owed $1 billion in taxes through September 2005, and 30,000 providers of Medicaid services, the state-federal health-care program for the poor, owed more than $1 billion through September 2006.Of course, if cutting out the middle man-as I humorously suggest-was a noble effort to reduce wasteful government paper pushing, they should have stopped receiving payments from Medicare. But I am sure that was just a minor detail they overlooked. A $2 billion minor detail.