Federal authorities charged 89 people in eight cities across the U.S. in connection with $233 million in fraudulent Medicare claims, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday.

About 400 federal agents took part in the arrests, which took place in Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, Brooklyn, Detroit, Chicago, Tampa, and Baton Rouge. The defendants are alleged to have bribed Medicare patients for their ID numbers, billed for services that were never given, and even received medical equipment and sold it for kickbacks.

The massive bust is consistent with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Holder's partnered focus on fraud that is believed to cost Medicare between $60 billion and $90 billion annually. The two joined forces in 2009, creating the Medicare Fraud Strike Force to investigate fraudulent claims across the country.

Holder expressed that he was proud of Tuesday's bust, but fears that Congress's proposed budget cuts will negatively impact the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. "Unless Congress adopts a balanced deficit reduction plan and stops the reductions currently slated for 2014, I fear our capacity to protect the American people from healthcare fraud will be further reduced," said Holder.

Tuesday's arrests mark the government's sixth national crackdown on health care fraud since 2010. Officials say the government has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have falsely billed Medicare over the last five years, accounting for almost $2 billion.

"Taxpayers expect us to work harder and smarter, and that is exactly what happened across the nation today," said Daniel R. Levinson, Health and Human Services Inspector General.