Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged Cabinet secretaries to root out waste in their departments and sketched new programs meant to trim fat from the government’s budget.
At a Cabinet meeting focused on reducing waste in government, Biden announced a new program that the administration estimates will save $2.1 billion in Medicare waste and fraud over five years. The initiative, the Medicaid Recovery Audit Contractor Program, will send $900 million of the money saved to states, administration officials said.
The new program, which was established as part of health care reform, is an expansion of another initiative meant to cut Medicare waste. Biden said the original program has saved $670 million so far in 2011.
“If we’re going to spur jobs and economic growth and restore long-term fiscal solvency, we need to make sure hard-earned tax dollars don’t go to waste," Biden said.
Biden and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis outlined specific efforts the Labor Department is taking to crack down on unemployment-insurance fraud. The vice president also pointed to the Department of Homeland Security, which has cut hundreds of millions of dollars in inefficiencies, as an example for other departments to follow.
This article appears in the September 14, 2011, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.