Approximately 7,000 doctors, dentists and other health care providers in New York, Texas and Florida collectively owe nearly $800 million in unpaid federal taxes – about 77% of which come from payroll tax and corporate tax.
Meanwhile, as these medical professionals racked up a bill of owed taxes, they simultaneously collected billions from Medicaid reimbursements – $6.6 billion in 2009 alone.
Currently, federal law does not prohibit health care providers from receiving Medicaid reimbursements if they owe federal taxes at the moment, a frustrating point of irony that has not escaped the attention of the US senators who requested that the Government Accountability Office look into the matter. “People who cheat on their taxes show a clear disregard for the law so they might be more likely to defraud Medicaid, or even harm patients,” said US Senator Tom Coburn.
With a groundswell of resentment built up, changes may be afoot to prohibit health providers who owe back taxes from enrolling in Medicaid.