: President Obama announced a plan to expand an auditing program to cut down on waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid systems during a rally in St. Louis last week. "Last year, the White House said, Medicare and Medicaid made $54 billion worth of improper payments. The administration estimates the audit program will return at least $2 billion over the next three years."
"Moving to aggressively slash fraud is part of the president's ongoing effort to demonstrate that he is listening to Republican ideas and incorporating them into his health care plan. … While the GOP applauded Obama's announcement, it didn't crack Republicans' united opposition to Democratic reforms." Obama’s speech was aimed not only as a nod to congressional Republicans but was also supposed "to fire up the public to help push reform over the finish line. Controlling costs and responsibly managing taxpayer money are goals that appeal to voters of all political stripes" (Frates, 3/16).