Obama’s America – Episode 175 – Barack Obama’s $272 Billion Swindle

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“Sure I Fixed Health Care”

By Arthur Piccolo

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 6, 2014: Yes you can be a brilliant political commentator and a sports junkie. I prove it, and so this week let me offer special thanks to …

The Economist Magazine for providing such good material for Obama’s America even though I am running late, close to deadline and the NBA Finals begin shortly because of the Economist this week’s revealing episode will largely write itself or the Economist will to be more precise.

I am even making use of their headline for their story in the current issue “The $272 billion swindle.” I have just been more precise in naming it Barack Obama’s $272 Billion Swindle.

It is Obama’s swindle because he bought it he owns it meaning by becoming President the outrages the Feral govt. is responsible for become HIS to either correct or allow to continue and grow.

SURPRISE that after more than 5 years of the Obama Presidency what you are about to read has NOT been fixed by Obama and indeed made worse with his BS about Obamacare providing us a better medical care industry.

The Truth is the U.S. medical care industry is responsible for fraud and corruption beyond imagination and the theft of enough funds that could go a long way to giving us the medical system we need is instead making lots of criminals rich with tax payer money.
SHAME on you President Obama more change you never delivered.

Now let turn to this Economist article to prove all this …

“Health care is a tempting target for thieves. Medicaid doles out $415 billion a year; Medicare (a federal scheme for the elderly), nearly $600 billion. Total health spending in America is a massive $2.7 trillion, or 17% of GDP. No one knows for sure how much of that is embezzled, but in 2012 Donald Berwick, a former head of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Andrew Hackbarth of the RAND Corporation, estimated that fraud (and the extra rules and inspections required to fight it) added as much as $98 billion, or roughly 10%, to annual Medicare and Medicaid spending—and up to $272 billion across the entire health system.”
This needs an ENCORE …

“Andrew Hackbarth of the RAND Corporation, estimated that fraud (and the extra rules and inspections required to fight it) added as much as $98 billion, or roughly 10%, to annual Medicare and Medicaid spending—and up to $272 billion across the entire health system.”

Next the article goes on to say bla bla bla – the government has stepped up its campaign against fraud and corruption in meaningless ways and to no real effect. A few of he stupid bad guys always get caught but they are few.
Where is Obama’s WAR on medical fraud and corruption? It does not exist. Obamacare will solve the problem! Right! Back to the Economist …

“Fraud migrates. Take one popular scam: overbilling for HIV infusion, an outdated therapy that Medicare still covers despite the existence of cheaper, better alternatives. This scam waned in Florida after a crackdown, only to pop up in Detroit, run by relatives of the original perpetrators.”

“Fraud mutates, too. As old hustles are rumbled, fraudsters invent new ones. “We’ve taken out much of the low-hanging fruit,” says Gary Cantrell, an investigator at HHS—an example being the thousands of bogus equipment suppliers registered to empty shop fronts. Scams now need to be more sophisticated to succeed, he argues. Doctors, pharmacies, and patients act in league. Scammers over-bill for real services rather than charging for non-existent ones. That makes them harder to spot.”

“Some criminals are switching from cocaine trafficking to prescription-drug fraud because the risk-adjusted rewards are higher: the money is still good, the work safer and the penalties lighter. Medicare gumshoes in Florida regularly find stockpiles of weapons when making arrests. The gangs are often bound by ethnic ties: Russians in New York, Cubans in Miami, Nigerians in Houston and so on.”
That’s right criminal drug dealers as are switching from selling cocaine to prescription drug fraud because its pays better, less chance of getting caught and if they do get nailed the penalties are far less or nothing at all.

Let’s move on …

“Another scam is to turn a doctor’s clinic into a prescription-writing factory for painkillers (or “pill mill”) and resell them on the street. A clinic in New York was recently charged with fraudulently producing prescriptions for more than 5m oxycodone tablets, which were sold locally for $30-$90 each.

The alleged conspirators included doctors and traffickers who ran crews of “patients” so large that long queues sometimes formed outside the clinic. The doctors charged $300 per large prescription. One raked in $12m. To cover their backs they would ask for scans or urine samples purporting to show injuries. The fake patients typically obtained these from the traffickers at the clinic door.”

“False billing by pharmacies is rife. New York’s Medicaid sleuths have stepped up spot checks to see if the drugs in the back room square with invoices. But this is a lot of work, so most outlets are never checked.”

How about technology to end some of these scams? Sorry …

“Technology is no panacea, however. Medicare’s computers were pumping out thousands of payments a year for patients who had been struck off the programme before receiving their treatment, until human hands began to intervene this year. The electronification of patient records can allow “cloning”, in which treatments automatically trigger excessive billing codes by defaulting to set templates.”

“This is the medical world’s “dirty secret”, says John Holcomb of the Texas Medical Association. Everyone talks about it in the doctor’s lounge, but few complain. (What doctors do complain about is the complexity of the bill-coding system: see article.) Moreover, there are gaps in the data picture—some of which could grow. Federal investigators complain that there is no proper national repository for Medicaid information, which is held state-by-state.”

“A bigger worry is that, as ever more Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries move to “managed  care” (privately administered) plans, government sleuths will have access to less data. This could lead to lower fraud-related recoveries.”

The article is laced with small steps the govt. is taking against these problems of fraud and corruption and so many more I have not included here, and again what is the impact virtually nothing. At best some claim they are slowing down the growth of some of the scams.

Now keep in mind this Economist article is limited to  indisputably illegal criminal activities in billing the Federal govt. It does not include all the “legal” over billing hospitals, doctors, medical equipment companies and others do regularly and get rewarded with huge govt. checks hey would never get if we had a medical care system that worked and was not made to be manipulated by the medical industry and all its elements.

So for what is second rate medical care for the vast majority of Americans and certainly way over charged, what we get is TRILLIONS of dollars lost to fraud, other criminal activities, over billing and all kinds of waste.

While this terrible outrage goes on and grows and grows … President Obama tells us medical care reform is his great achievement.

The Con goes on and on at The White House.

About The Writer: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.

 

 

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