Feds Ignored Medicare Scam Warnings For Years

   MIAMI (AP) -- The federal agency that is supposed to prevent Medicare fraud repeatedly ignored internal watchdog warnings about swindlers stealing millions of dollars over three years.

A study of insured and uninsured Americans showed that those without health insurance get sicker as they age until they turn 65 and qualify for Medicare, Friday, Dec. 28, 2007. But they're not likely to become as healthy as someone who had health insurance all along. (AP / CBS)

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, received dozens of warnings from inspectors during the Bush and Obama administrations. They responded to only half of them.

A July 2008 warning said organized crime had infiltrated the system and was costing more than $1 million dollars for each phony Medicare provider license the crooks obtained.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has asked that future warnings receive a response within two months. The agency has agreed.

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