Senate and the House

It is interesting to note that the FCA was originally created as a response to the defense industry in 1863, and its 1986 revisions were also largely intended as a means of monitoring the defense industry. However, that has not prevented simultaneous use of the FCA against the health care industry and other private entities that conduct business with the government. This outcome of the 1986 revisions may have been unforeseen; some have argued that “if the health care industry knew how the FCA would be used, it would have lobbied hard against the 1986 amendment [sic]

... and it probably would not have passed” (Krause, 2001a, p. 136). Indeed, as Boese explains, “there is a three ring circus nature to the proceedings,” because a provider must deal with the civil FCA action at hand, any possible criminal investigations that spring from it, and the simultaneous threat of administrative actions—such as suspension or exclusion from the Medicare program (2007, p. 1. 4 and 1. 35).

Meanwhile, the FCA has been shown to be such a powerful tool for monitoring government programs that many states have adopted, or are in the process of developing, their own state false claims acts (Boese, 2007, p. 1. 35). While Congress’s aims were to deter potential fraud and to partner with public citizens in the fight against improper government spending, whether the current use of the federal FCA is appropriately meeting this goal remains a topic under heated debate (Krause, 2003; Paschke, 1994). Perhaps one of the most glaring aspects of using the FCA to sue for fraud is that the law does not define “false or fraudulent”, in spite of the fact that it is such conduct lies at the heart of the Act (Jost & Davies, 1999; U. S. v. Medica-Rents, 2003, pp. 72-73).

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