Entries in Government Waste (1)


One Billion in Tax Dollars Paid Out to Dead People

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A review of government audits and reports finds the U.S government paid out $1 billion over the past ten years to about a quarter of a million dead people.  The review was conducted by the office of Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn.

The problems come from all over the federal government, according to the numbers cited in the report. The Social Security Administration sent 18 million dollars in stimulus money to 71,000 dead people and $40 million in benefit payments to 1,760 dead people. The Department of Agriculture sent $1 billion in farming subsidies to dead farmers.  Medicare paid $92 million in claims for medical supplies prescribed by dead doctors, plus another $8 million in supplies prescribed for dead patients. Medicaid, meanwhile, paid $700,000 in claims for prescriptions for controlled substances written for 1,800 dead patients.

Where does all the money actually go? In some cases to dormant bank accounts, but in most cases, to relatives of the deceased, the report found. The blame, Coburn said, lies with Congress.

“Congress itself created this mess by allowing poorly designed programs to continue unchecked,” Coburn stated. “If Congress is ready to get serious about spending restraint, ending subsidies for deceased people is a sensible place to start.”

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