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Overcriminalization

"Overcriminalization" describes the trends in America - and particulary in Congress - to use the criminal law to "solve" every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives.

S 3632: A bill to provide for enhanced penalties to combat Medicare and Medicaid Fraud, a Medicare data-mining system and a beneficiary verification pilot program, and for other purposes.

Official Title

A bill to provide for enhanced penalties to combat Medicare and Medicaid Fraud, a Medicare data-mining system and a beneficiary verification pilot program, and for other purposes.

Analysis

This bill, a nearly identical companion to H.R. 5044, includes provisions that would double the criminal penalties for specified knowing and willful wrongful acts in connection with federal health care programs and that would create a new offense for those who, knowingly, intentionally, and with the intent to defraud, “traffic” in Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary identification numbers or billing privileges. One subpart of 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(a) prohibits the making of false statements or representations in connection with applications for benefits or payments under a federal health care program. The penalty for making such false statements or representations other than “in connection with the furnishing (by that person) of items or services for which payment is or may be made” will be doubled, with imprisonment for up to one year or a fine of $10,000 increasing to imprisonment for up to two years or a fine of $20,000. The penalty for (1) making false statements or representations by someone in connection with that person’s furnishing of items or services for which payment is or may be made; (2) receiving kickbacks, bribes, or rebates; (3) making false representations with respect to the condition or operation of institutions: or (4) engaging in illegal patient and admittance practices would be doubled as well, increasing from imprisonment for up to 5 years, a fine of $25,000 or both to imprisonment for up to 10 years, a fine of $50,000, or both. In addition, the bill would create a new offense for, knowingly, intentionally, and with the intent to defraud, selling or distributing two or more Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary identification numbers or billing privileges. The violation of this provision would be punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years, a fine as authorized by Title 18, U.S. Code, or both.

Legislation Details
SPONSOR

Gillibrand (D - NY)

STATUS:

07/22/2010: Referred to Senate Finance Committee
07/22/2010: Introduced in Senate