Investigation finds medical-supply fraud

WASHINGTON — Sellers of wheelchairs, drugs and other medical supplies collected as much as $93 million in fraudulent Medicare claims based on prescriptions from doctors who actually were dead, some for 10 years or more, a congressional investigation has found. Millions more dollars will continue to be at risk of waste and fraud each year in the billion-dollar government-run health program for the elderly and disabled unless Medicare officials address flaws that they've promised to fix since at least 2001, according to the probe. The bipartisan report by the Senate Homeland Security investigations subcommittee, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, reviewed millions of reimbursement claims for medical equipment and supplies from 2000 through 2007. It found that Medicare paid out between $60.3 million to $92.8 million to medical suppliers even though they involved claims in which the prescribing doctor listed had been dead for at least 12 months.

Candidates say they will reform immigration

WASHINGTON — John McCain and Barack Obama told a major Hispanic organization Tuesday that they remain committed to passing comprehensive immigration legislation, despite its defeat in Congress and unpopularity with voters who prefer a heavier emphasis on border security. Their remarks to the League of United Latin Citizens came before the 79th convention of the 115,000-member Hispanic group, but the presumptive Republican and Democratic Party nominees, respectively, were reaching out to a broader group: the 9 million or more Latinos who are expected to vote in November.


U.S. to place missile-defense radar in Czech Republic

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — The United States and leaders of the Czech Republic agreed Tuesday to place a radar system in this former Soviet satellite that would warn of long-range missiles coming to Europe from the Middle East. The proposed U.S. missile defense system calls for a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland. Russia has threatened to aim its own missiles at any eventual base in Poland or the Czech Republic.

Herald-Leader wire services