Health and Human Services Issues

OCG-93-20TR: Published: Dec 1, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO summarized information on federal health and human services issues facing Congress and the new administration.

GAO noted that: (1) social security, Medicare, and Medicaid accounted for 87 percent of the Department of Health and Human Service's (HHS) budget; (2) challenges facing HHS include ensuring health care access, controlling escalating costs, and curbing Medicare losses through the detection of fraud, waste, and abuse; (3) public confidence needs to be restored in the social security system by ensuring that adequate funds are present during economic downturns, providing better benefit information, and increasing the timely distribution of benefits; (4) welfare reform implementation has been slowed by increasing caseloads and state budget constraints; and (5) HHS needs to upgrade current child welfare programs by focusing on prevention and early intervention and creating a federal strategy for collecting data.

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