MADISON – Today, Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) introduced a bill to reinstate the False Claims Act, which Republicans repealed in 2015. The bill would restore the ability of individual whistleblowers to bring lawsuits against companies that are defrauding the state’s Medicaid program. It would also reward whistleblowers in successful cases where the state recovers funds lost to fraud. Governor Evers’s 2019-21 state budget proposal included a provision reinstating the False Claims Act, but Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee removed it from the budget.
“Prior to 2015, the False Claims Act was one of Wisconsin’s most effective tools for deterring fraud in the Medicaid program. Governor Evers was right to reinstate this important protection in his budget proposal. When Republicans stripped the False Claims Act from the Governor’s budget, they sided with unscrupulous corporations and big pharmaceutical companies against Wisconsin taxpayers.” said Rep. Subeck.
As a result of the False Claims Act between 2012 and 2014 alone, Wisconsin recovered $28 million from companies who were caught defrauding the state’s Medicaid program. According to one estimate, the law’s repeal has cost taxpayers over $11 million in settlement money. Most notably, as a direct result of repealing the False Claims Act, Wisconsin collected $695,430 less than it should have in the national settlement against the drug manufacturer Mylan for underpaying Medicaid rebates.
“In the name of preventing fraud, Republicans have it more difficult for our most vulnerable neighbors to access services like Foodshare and BadgerCare, but they turn a blind eye when wealthy special interests cheat taxpayers out of millions. It is time to get serious about ending fraud in Medicaid and holding those who take advantage of taxpayers accountable for their actions,”said Rep. Subeck.