U.S. Chamber Applauds Wisconsin's Repeal of Flawed "False Claims for Medical Assistance Act"

July 12, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement today about Wisconsin's repeal of its "False Claims for Medical Assistance Act" (Wis. Stat. s. 20.931):

"This flawed law incentivized private bounty hunter plaintiffs to sue companies suspected of defrauding the state's medical assistance program, and despite its good intentions, proved ineffective and costly. According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, actions under the law brought reduced recoveries to the state because plaintiffs could claim up to 30 percent of awards, plus attorneys' fees.

"Moreover, repeal will reduce the Department's costs of investigating between 60 and 70 claims a year while only intervening in a small minority of them. The Department's resources could be better spent investigating its own direct actions, which have historically led to higher recoveries for taxpayers.

"Ultimately, repeal will help improve Wisconsin's legal climate, as authorizing private rights of action on behalf of the state can lead to abuses by the trial bar. We commend Governor Walker for signing this important reform into law."

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.