Bureaucrats seeing dead people: Coburn report draws attention to federal spending on dead people

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn wants to knife federal spending for dead people. It’s not like they’ll be hurt by it, right?

Just in time for Halloween, Coburn on Friday is releasing a report entitled, “Federal Programs to Die For: American Tax Dollars Sent Six Feet Under.”

Coburn’s office says that since 2000, at least $1 billion in taxpayer money has gone to 250,000 dead people.

Here are highlights of the report, in its own words:

•    The Social Security Administration sent $18 million in stimulus funds to 71,688 dead people and $40.3 million in questionable benefit payments to 1,760 dead people.

•    The Department of Health and Human Services sent 11,000 dead people $3.9 million in assistance to pay heating and cooling costs.

•    The Department of Agriculture sent $1.1 billion in farming subsidies to deceased farmers.

•    The Department of Housing and Urban Development overseeing local agencies knowingly distributed $15.2 million in housing subsidies to 3,995 households with at least one deceased person.

•    Medicaid paid over $700,000 in claims for prescriptions for controlled substances written for over 1,800 deceased patients and prescriptions for controlled substances written by 1,200 deceased doctors.

•    Medicare paid as much as $92 million in claims for medical supplies prescribed by dead doctors and $8.2 million for medical supplies prescribed for dead patients.

•    Congress has established HIV/AIDS funding distribution based on historic numbers of deceased HIV/AIDS patients, while many individuals living with AIDS desperately wait for medical care.

Essentially, the report is a journey through the haunted house of government waste, Coburn’s office says.