Doctors Threatened With Jail

78

Gavel, Stethoscope and Books on FlagFor decades, doctors have been in the crosshairs of trial lawyers.  Now they are increasingly in the crosshairs of prosecutors threatening jail sentences.

In the murky world of Medicare and Medicaid rules, it is very easy to make a false claim. In one experiment, a researcher contacted five different government Medicare billing advisors about a possible claim and got five different answers about how to handle it. So even if a doctor stopped practicing and instead spent full time supervising each and every bill, the government can easily claim error and thus fraud.

It isn’t that every error will be treated as fraud. It is just that it could be. This is a powerful weapon of intimidation and reprisal.

Medicare and Medicaid claims are often paid by mail. And of course each instance of “mail fraud” as defined by the government can also fetch five years in prison. Electronic billing may change this, though as we have pointed out in other articles, it will also violate your medical privacy.

Medicare fraud is admittedly a giant problem. Only about 5% of claims are audited, and estimates of the total volume of fraudulent claims range from 10 to 20%. Given the Medicare budget of around $450 billion, this is very big money. But most of this fraud is organized theft, not individual doctors trying to cheat the system.

In response to the fraud problem, Congress passed more laws during the Clinton administration designed to punish cheating both in federal programs and in state programs with any federal financing. The trouble with these laws is their vagueness. They include under fraud treatments that are “not medically necessary.” It is of course the government itself which decides how to interpret this, and the government is lobbied by and heavily influenced by the AMA and the pharmaceutical industry. In most cases, natural therapies would definitely be categorized as “not medically necessary” and thus fraudulent—and criminal.

Keep in mind also that it is not just doctors that defraud the government’s medical programs. Drug companies have also been found guilty of this. Although they have paid some fines, we haven’t yet seen any Pharma executive go to jail, and no one expects that ever to happen.

In 1996, Senator Ted Kennedy added to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act new anti-fraud provisions providing for jail terms of up to ten years. If a patient dies while being given the “medically unnecessary” treatment and the government decides that the treatment caused the death, the doctor can go to jail for life. This legislation also extended the anti-fraud provisions to cover bills submitted to any “health care benefit program.” Under federal law, health care benefit programs include private insurance as well as federal programs. So now a doctor can go to jail for getting on the wrong side of a private insurance company.

Meanwhile if a doctor signs up for a drug research program, he or she had better follow FDA regulations to the letter. Although the legal situation here has not been fully sorted out by the courts, the FDA takes the position that an infraction of its rules may be a felony.

Given all this, you can see why ANH-USA has sounded the alarm about the new jail terms targeted by the FDA at supplement producers that has been included in the House version of the Food Safety Act.

But it doesn’t take any new legislation to put a doctor in jail for doing things that are quite innocent. This is not only unfair to doctors. it is unfair to all of us. Once we succeed in getting all Americans medically covered, we will need a lot more doctors, not fewer. Will they be there? If not, how much do you think it will cost to see one of the remaining doctors?

But it doesn’t stop there.

News has just broken that the US Department of Justice, together with the Idaho Attorney General (note that this is a bipartisan operation), charged a group of Boise orthopedists with a criminal violation of the antitrust laws. What had they actually done? They got together and discussed what to do about the very low fees offered by the State Workers Compensation Program.

Result: thoroughly intimidated doctors signed a draconian ten year consent decree agreeing to accept the Idaho Industrial Commissions’ price controls. Most of the doctors also agreed to rescind any threats of withdrawing from Blue Cross of Idaho. Keep in mind that Blue Cross is a private insurance company. As such, it is itself exempt from antitrust laws. And state and federal governments are also exempt. it is just the doctors who are subject to it.

News accounts also suggest that the doctors were “persuaded” to hire a high priced lawyer who until recently worked for the same division of the Justice Department that was suing them. This is part of a well established pattern of government intimidation practiced by government agencies including the FDA as well as the Justice Department. Once you have talked a very scared plaintiff into a consent decree, you require that they hire former employees of the agency at very high prices for further representation or compliance. If you are a government employee, you don’t make money on this arrangement right away. But when you leave the agency, the buddy system ensures that you will get your turn at these spoils.

The excuse for this inexcusable behavior? It is that the expensive former government employee being foisted on the scared plaintiffs knows the ropes about how to comply with the consent decree. And there will be masses of compliance work to do. The doctors face ten more years of compliance and have agreed among other things to submit detailed written reports, submitted under oath, whenever required by their tormentors. Bottom line: the doctors will work all day for a pittance as required by the decree and spend their “spare time” filling out reports.

If doctors met together and decided what to charge the general public, they would of course be engaging in a genuine violation of antitrust laws. But note that this is primarily a case of doctors responding to a government price control. The constitution expressly permits us to assemble, to talk freely, and to petition the government. That is why the doctors’ consent decree explicitly says that they can do those things even though they have actually been prosecuted for doing them. As William Norman Grigg noted in his recent article about this travesty, “How are the doctors supposed to comply with the Final Judgment, given that its guidelines distinguishing ‘Prohibited’ from ‘Acceptable’ conduct make no sense?”

But making no sense is what it is all about. The government puts in rules that only a lawyer can figure out. If a doctor violates any of them, there is the threat of jail to ensure compliance with price controls or anything else. That is the whole idea.

And even if the consent decree were not written in gobbledegook, can you imagine the doctors standing up for their constitutional rights now? It takes a great deal of courage to do that with the threat of jail and losing your license hanging over your head.

Will doctors have to unionize to beat this new antitrust-related gag order? Remember that unions are exempt from antitrust legislation too. That is how unionized workers can discuss together what they will accept for pay. But if doctors get swept up into some vast union, that might well accelerate the drift toward government-mandated, one-size-fits-all medicine.

If doctors don’t unionize, they had better not expect any help with price controls from the courts. An American College of Cardiology suit against Medicare pay cuts was recently dismissed by the US District Court in south Florida. The reason: the court said it had no jurisdiction, and that the federal government could do whatever it wanted about prices.

Parents: it may be time to reconsider. Maybe you don’t want your child to become a doctor, or marry one. Maybe that’s a thing of the past.

Share.
  • That is precisely the reason we do not do business with the government.

  • I am a Chiropractor and this is exactly why I will not deal with Medicare, Medicaid, and insurances in any way, shape, or form. I would be scrupulously honest in any charges that I would submit but I KNOW that even honest mistakes and even tiny errors can lose one his or her practice. I am not willing to go there. Even if patients submit claims on their own, I am still liable. No way, not me.

    Also, the charges (to me) are so inflated and I will not play that game. Either the taxpayers are paying these inflated charges or the other insured subscribers are; either way it is WRONG.

    Get the slimy government OUT of anything related to health care. It is entirely unconstitutional for this situation to exist. They ruin anything they touch anyway.

    • Lou

      “Get the slimy government OUT of anything related to health care.”

      Right on Brother!

      The HHS is under the control of the Eugenic Rockefeller clan and they mean to reduce our population one way or another.

      This is a horrible fact but unless we face it we will be reduced.

      • Bill

        Without Insurance and Medicare our medical costs would be much lower. Both industries milk us at the expense of the majority.

  • Evelyn Goodman

    This sounds to me like doctors will now be afraid to really practise medicine, and the patients will be the losers for it.
    Don’t malpractice rules and resorting to legal means take care of possible errors? Why does the government have to step in between and set standards that may be arbitrary?
    As a patient, aren’t I protected by mal practise laws? Why muddy the waters?

    • Rix Mohay

      Government for the rich by the richer.

  • berry lee

    Sorry to hear this but we do have to cut government costs somehow. All I can say is I am very thankful for my excellent VA healthcare at durham VA Med. Center next to duke Hospital.
    My doctor is open-minded, good at research and doesnt seem like a man just interested in getting rich !!!

  • Janis Bell NMD

    Doctors have helped create their dismal situation by squelching all non drug-oriented competition. I’m not talking about the kind, caring family physicians who, for the most part, over extend themselves to help their patients, but the professional organizations and licensing boards that they support. Why else would physicians who practice complementary and alternative medicine have to opt out of Medicare to avoid drawing attention to their successful, non-toxic treatments? And by forcing a monopoly on insurance-coverage (with the exception of a few chiropractic services), MD’s and DO’s have lost the ability to get support from the entire health care industry, and to reduce costs naturally through competition and less costly alternatives to drugs and surgery.

    • Lou

      Doctor Simoncini is curing many cancers with Baking Soda. How can chemo which costs 10 to 15 thousand per month to kill you compete with Baking Soda? It cannot. Doctor Budwig is curing cancer with flax seed and protein. How can chemo compete? It cannot. Doctor Gerson is curing cancer with nothing but good organic food and its enzyme rich juice. How can chemo compete? It cannot.

      So what do you do if you want to reduce the population? You OUTLAW all cancer treatment except chemo and its deadly sisters. Problem solved.

      Chemo has a 2% success rate. Doing nothing has a 25% success rate. IOW if you REFUSE ALL medical cancer treatment for MOST cancers, yes there a FEW cancers that can be successfully treated by standard oncology, your chance of surviving cancer is MUCH better than being killed by chemo. Most death from cancer is NOT from the cancer but from the CHEMO.

      http://healthyprotocols.com/2_cancer.htm

      • Bob

        I refused chemo (I talked to an oncologist OUTSIDE of the hospital network) so the network took me ofrf of their “survivor” list. I believe this is to skew the percentages and am looking into whether or not this is their policy. If it is, it is fraud. Fact is, dietary changes are statistically more effective than the chemo.

  • This has to stand as one of the dumbest idea of this century – so far. What kind of idiotic mind conceives this crap? We have trouble finding good Doctors right now.
    This stupidity seems to be not only silly but it appears against our constitutional .
    Has congress given up making the laws??????????????
    Maybe we are on the path to become a third world country

    • Ogre

      We need more lawyers working on the oil spill… at the site. (bottom of the ocean)

    • Sharry Vickers

      Government no longer passes laws; it passes opportunities for abuse–law so vague, interpretation is the key, depending upon whom is being prosecuted. Big Pharma is always interpreted as “safe”; natural cures are “life-threatening”, according to those who make the money from chemo, etc.

  • To many rules destroy any persons ability to conduct their jobs. There has to be a balancing point.

  • To many rules destroy any persons ability to conduct their jobs. There has to be a balancing point.

  • To many rules destroy any persons ability to conduct their jobs. There has to be a balancing point.

  • To many rules destroy any persons ability to conduct their jobs. There has to be a balancing point.

  • To many rules destroy any persons ability to conduct their jobs. There has to be a balancing point.

  • To many rules destroy any persons ability to conduct their jobs. There has to be a balancing point.

  • To many rules destroy any persons ability to conduct their jobs. There has to be a balancing point.

  • Richard Edlich

    I read with interest your frightening report. However, you did not outline a solution that can be implemented into Federal and State Legislation. It is like discussing a dangerous situation for patients and doctors without carefully outlining solutions that can begin with the congressional leaders. Your report is something that should be given to morticians throughout the country. If you have solutions to this crisis, please outline it immediately and publish it on your website, so we can submit comments and express concern to our congressional leaders. It’s an emergency! If we don’t have a healthcare system, you might as well cancel your website.

    Dr. Richard F. Edlich
    [email protected]

  • marilyn beidler

    please help us have our medical freedom to choose our own treatments
    marilyn

  • lynn

    It all boils down to this…the dr’s are in bed w/ the pharmceutical companies who are in bed w/ the lobbyists who are in bed w/ “our” elected congressmen. Follow the money. The FDA is a joke.

  • Thanks for pointing this out!

    I’ve gone to doctors who did things that SHOULD be criminal to me and to other patients, and they never have any repercussions from it. Maybe this is a way to censure the incompetent and criminal actions by doctors, in much the same way they finally caught Al Capone for tax problems when they couldn’t catch him for other things.

    I’ll keep this in mind for the future!

  • I am a Nurse and if we really paid attention to what these doctors charge we would all know its fraud!

    I have watched doctors go to a patients room, never touch them spend less than 10 seconds in the room and charge Medicare about $150.00 for those few seconds.
    When a Nurse goes over a doctors head because he won’t even look at something she ‘Knows’ is a danger and he makes an appointment for 6 months down the road? It turns out to be cancer!
    Yes we have ‘Doctor Medical Fraud so don’t put the poor Doctor Pity Party on my plate because I won’t buy it and it needs to be stopped.

    • Ron

      I was just rolling through and this caught my eye.

      This is exactly what I have been trying to point out to all my friends that seem to believe the profession is above reproach. The WHO and the CDC say the US ranks “50th” in the world among over 100 world nations in health and longevity. I believe the world leader in “medical technology” should be able to do better than this. It is also my understanding that other world countries don’t have the rates of Iatrogenesis we have in the US.

      My wife’s uncle got the “Don’t worry a bit, things are going to be just fine'” speech the night before an experimental procedure gone wrong that left him dead on the table –because, I believe they ran into unanticipated problems they could not control. And to top it all off–we all know they cannot apologize because this infers “fault.”

      I was always told you get what you deserve. But I don’t mean death at the hands of the indifferent, incompetent.

  • Linda Bartko

    I cannot believe how they are treating everyone, not just doctors. Ever since H.Clinton got her hands on health care, it is quickly going down hill at a deadly pace. The doctors have no rights at all. They spend their whole life learning; for what ? This is so sad. I have never been in a hospital except to give birth, until recently when I had a brain hemorrhage, I thank God they knew what they were doing. Only until these people are at the mercy of a doctor will they understand. Each and everyone of us will have that opportunity atleast once in our life time. I am a “alternative treatment believer” and I ended up at the mercy of a well educated physician that I thank God for, they better stop and think, their time is coming.

  • Elizabeth A.Livingston

    Our U.S. Attorney General is married to a doctor. I wonder if she is aware of the Idaho situation. I hope the doctors have appealed.

  • G.E.OGLE,DC

    BooHoo! So now the MDs and their ilk are discovering for themselves what they’ve been
    perpetrating upon DCs for decades. Tough pill to swallow, ain’t it?

  • I will just respond to the lead in article bemoaning fees for the poor doctors.
    My poor doctor makes me come into the office at least once a year or she will not write a script for my blood pressure meds.

    the whole vist with her, the preliminary weight check etc. lasst approximately between fifteen or twenty minutes. My bill is $130. This means that I in essence am paying $520 an hour.

    pooooor, poooor doctor.
    I am on a fixed income of $18oo. per month
    poooooooooor pooooor doctor

    • Jill Herendeen

      Your pooooor doctor is probably just obeying the law, making you get a new scrip every year. You aren’t paying just for the minutes it took her to write the scrip; you’re paying for her cost-of-doing-business, which includes being required by state law to buy malpractice insurance from a for-profit corporation, and probably having to pay off student loans to the for-profit college and medicals schools she was forced to graduate from in order to become a doctor. Not to mention her cost-of-living. This is at least part of why health care in single-payer health care countries costs about half of what we’re spending right now; their colleges are free or close to free; their malpractice issues are investigated directly by their gov’t; health CARE is hugely subsidized by their gov’ts, & paid for via PROGRESSIVE income taxes, far more progressive than ours ever was, even in the 1960s.

  • You could not be more right about this. Dealing with Medicare/Medicaid is a nightmare, and dealing with all the rules that have no real-world meaning and the legal community aint sharing, and the Medicare/Medicaid workers CAN’T tell you what they mean because they don’t know, either, and even if you put your question is in WRITING it either won’t get answered or isn’t coherent from one responder to the next, what does anyone expect the doc to do? If we want a health care system that works, we would have to start all over. And this time, how about asking the people who are expecting treatment what they would like? How about asking the care providers of various stripes – and why NOT include them all and equally – who actually DO the work what they think would be a good way of going about what rules should apply? We have a medical monopoly system, and with that comes other levels of power-grab. What we DON’T have is a good system of health care. Since we’re all messed up now, why not begin a whole new system, this time including all and taking away the continuous demands and threats, such as mandated care, mandating the docs have to participate in Medicare/Medicaid, stop listening to the voices of the medical associations as if it were the voice of the profession, SET OUT ALL THE RULES SO THAT EVERY PROVIDER AND PATIENT COULD READ THEM WITHOUT TUTORING which is completely absent at Medicare and Medicaid. Before retirement I was expected to tell each patient whether Medicare would/wouldn’t cover the fee for that day’s care, when in fact, I had no way of knowing what Medicare would/wouldn’t cover, because what they did with each billing was completely arbitrary, and the rules for coverage were only minimally available to me even when I requested copies of the applicable rules. This system is a giant farce and a fraud, and when I hear about doctor fraud, I tend to roll my eyes, as nothing an individual doctor could do could compete with the fraud Medicare is to both patients/citizens and doctors. I really miss taking care of people and helping them get well and stay that way; I don’t miss Medicare/Medicaid and the whole government/insurance/”legal” system and all the versions of coercion at all. Sad, isn’t it. All these people who need help we really want to provide, but the conditions forced on us both hardly make it worth the attempt.

    The union of which this article speaks should NOT be doctors again patients, as much of the manipulation of our system implies (insurance); it ought to be doctors and patients against the system that intrudes in the doctor/patient relationship, in the practice of quality health care and in the joy of working at healing and being healed when the intruders know very little about how either healing/healed works. When they makes rules such as “You can’t see a patient for free when they can’t afford you yet need your care,” it must be obvious to all that what that is about is sheer control/power, not what is good for either patients or doctors. There’s a sickness here, roughly akin to a rotten tooth needing pulling.

  • perry sim

    Bill only private parties and wait to see what the government can pull out of their sleeves. Let the patients accept what insurance pays for a treatment, the remainder becomes becomes their liability. Then wait to see how fast people opt for getting rid of their insurance and only get hopitalization insurance with high deductable. Also, this scenario makes patients to be considerate how often to go to doctor and not to use doctors as a crying on a shoulder.

  • cosmo

    What do you expect from clowns in black robes enforcing their “judicial activism” mandates, their own interpretation of the laws, and their feelings for blatantly disregarding the U.S. Constitution, and prior decisions based on our rights?

    Yes, these morons actually believe it is a tired, old piece of paper not current with the times.

    Any you know who those idiot Democrats and idiot Republicans are.

    From the White House, to the House of Representatives (Legislative Branch; both Congress and the Senate), to the Administration (Executive Branch), and the Judicial Branch (including the DOJ buffoons), and the fourth branch, the Administrative Branch, encompassing all those outside the first three branches.

    The empire is crumbling, the emperor is naked, and the sky is truly falling.

    Judicial activism is tantamount to Socialism.

    What is truly needed is: Constitutional Activism.

    Starting with the U.S. Supreme Court and flowing downhill to every single court in the land.

  • rureadynow

    Here’s an article about medicare fraud where no one went to jail even after stealing more than 60 million dollars from medicare. Someone should be in he federal penitentiary.

  • We MUST let people speak the truth, especially doctors! This right is self evident as declared in the Declaration of Independence!

  • It looks like we already have “socialized medicine”, that bugaboo of the conservatives. I am not against socialized medicine per se, but this kind of government control of doctors is outrageous and insane. A friend of mine, who is very conservative, warned that this sort of thing might happen. If it continues, and it most likely will, there will be fewer and fewer doctors available to take care of the swelling number of “baby boomers” who will need medical care in the future.

    Something, I’m not sure what, needs to be done to reverse this trend.

  • Drdalev

    I am a Chiropractor and I now have a cash practice. In some cases insurance will reimburse the patient for non-providers care at a lesser rate than normal. I moved to Guam and Medicare/Medicaid does not pay Chiropractors here. We are not mandated to accept against our will patients we can not get to pay us. Many doctor’s will start cash practices to avoid insurance all together. This I believe will be a new trend you will see among most of the medical professions. The only drawback I see is that in the U.S. you can not refuse a Medicare patient. In this way the government tells you who you have to see and how much you can get paid. If you don’t follow their rules to the letter then they can put you in jail for fraud. I see the alternative to this is doctors telling insurance patients that they are booked up for the next four months so that they don’t have to take insurance patients at all. When liberty is taken away for the good of the government the people suffer. This is what brought on the revolution that started this country. This is not the government of our forefathers.

    • Sue Magyari

      I am happy to hear that even a few people such as yourself are standing up and taking action for what you believe in.! To have only a cash practice and to move to a place you can actually do this takes great courage and I applaud you. You are correct. The system will change to cash or even barter for those brave souls who fight against government taking away their liberties. This is a question of NOT ALLOWING GOVERNMENT to make slavery more prevalent than freedom. Who would have thought that in a generation or two we would give away what the country has stood for for 200+ years!!

  • Norma Odell

    Doctors in Europe don’t have the problems mentioned above, and their patients get better care at less cost to their countries than here in the US. Single payer system is better for the patients and the doctors.

    • Kim Harrison

      It depends on the goals of that single payer system. The goal of the system in the US is “The more dead the better. The American “experiment” is done, time for all participants to expire.” The goal of the European system is “There are reasons for all illness, let’s find the least expensive way of dealing with it.”
      Europe does a lot of research that is not even recognized by the US, some of which would make a lot of the pharmaceutical nonsense irrelevant.

  • Single payer medical insurance is best for the patients and the doctors

    • Sue Magyari

      Norma,
      You are misled by government rhetoric. Those who really believe that a socialist sytem is desirable should be courageous and go live where they will get socialist care. Let’s not beat around the bush with terms like “single-payer” . When government is the only choice, YOUR choices are zero. That is SLAVERY. If you prefer it, you should go to where they already have it. Why do want to take away MY choice along with your own?

    • Lou

      Yes if that payer were almighty God.

      If the “payer” is the current criminals in DC NO!

    • Ed Fogarty

      Right on Norma

    • Nice try! Only the stats don’t bear that out. Americans live longer with cancer and have a longer life span that any other country in the world. Do a search,check the facts yourself.

  • Nick McNaughton

    A very perceptive article about the insidious growth of government power. We the people must learn to discipline our elected legislators not to respond to every crisis by passing a new law that imposes a whole new set of penalties.

    • Mary

      Well said

  • Elaine

    I am 64 years olld, wife, mom, grandma, and now great-grandma. I would never have been able to dream that our country has become what it now is. I am thankful that I did not vote for this president. He is anti everything that I believed America to be. We are very quickly losing our freedoms. Don’t pay attention to what this admin says…watch what they do. It is all smoke and mirrors and broken promises along with extreme secrecy. And, if you will note…almost everyone that they have gotten to come to their side for whatever is on their agenda at the time….with false promises….they have eventually thrown under the bus. I don’t believe that this guy intends to leave the office. We will be extremely fortunate if we even get to vote in November.

    This healthcare thing has worried me from the “git go”. I read parts of it that were pointed out to me by various people. I read it on the Library of Congress website well over a year ago. I use an oxygen concentrator and a nebulizer and am a heart patient to boot. I have grandchildren who are mentally handicapped. The parts about durable medical equipment and about how people with irreversible brain “damage” is frightening. Those kids may not get medical treatment? And, someone in Washington will decide whether or not my life is worth having oxygen concentrator? Who the hell do they think they are? Who is capable of deciding who is worth life itself? These are some of the most evil people I have ever encountered.

    Thank you for letting me vent.

    May the good God protect us all. It is truly a time to get on our knees for prayer, and then come up fighting. We must all become patriots…for ourselves and our future…

    • Lou

      “These are some of the most evil people I have ever encountered.”

      When you realize what is occurring now is the fruition a a plan hatched about the time our Politicians sanctioned the murder our beloved President Kennedy evil does not contain the destructiveness.

      Health Aspect of the Plan to Destroy the USA

      o Complete Political Takeover of FDA
      o Introduction of MANY Poisons in the the Food and Water Supply
      o Promotion of Toxic Drugs as a false means of health care
      o Promotion of deadly “vaccines” as a false means of health care
      o The above will force up health care costs beyond affordability for most people
      o This will enable the take over of health by government
      o Mandate toxins and toxic procedures of all sorts
      o IMO mandatory “vaccines” are intended to solve the population problem

  • This is truly sad that doctors have, in effect, waived their 1st Amendment rights due to the fear of
    losing their licenses when merely discussing government control of their pricing for their fees.

  • terebern

    The USA is fast becoming a place where freedom is a thing of the past. When our Government has control now, yu will do it their way or be taken to court and made to look a fool. The fools are the people that are sleeping thinking things are all right.

  • Terry Urba

    Teachers have worked all day for a pittance for years and spend their spare time correcting papers and filling out reports. Doctors may not like this, but they will get used to it.

    • Kim Harrison

      Teachers that have not taught the true history of our country are to blame for all this mess.

  • Anna

    Sad, sad. I certainly believe in doing what is morally right (not necessarily politically correct). Let’s continue to fight against what is wrong. At the same time, we also have to realize that things will get worse (more controls / regulations – all in the name of safety – yeah right). We all know it’s about control and money. Sad !

  • Anna

    In your next to the last paragraph, you speak of doctors unionizing. They already have a union – the AMA. The question now is – who is more powerful – the AMA or the drug companies (Big Pharma) ???? Both are very powerful entities who already influence the public – unfortunately in more negative ways than positive ways. It makes one wonder if with all this fighting (the big companies amongst themselves) what will happen to the public AND when will the public finally wake up and do another Boston Tea Party in order to protect themselves ! ! ! “We The People…” – makes me wonder how far the big companies and government have gone to slowly erase our constitutional rights ! God have mercy on us all !

  • Sara Thornton

    Doctors may not be popular, but they are necessary. Putting too many barriers against their profession will not stop medicaid and medicare fraud. Also, it is not always the doctors who are behind medicare fraud.

  • This is an excellent article. Who knew? I find it terribly disturbing to see more and more freedoms passing away each day. I have never been a proponent for unions, but if I were a doctor, I think I would begin to seriously consider the benefits. Someone has to be on their side!

  • Sue Magyari

    I find it interesting that every agument quickly becomes a doctor versus patient scenario rather than government versus people scenario. Those of you who do not understand that the government has created the situation (with laws, regulations, hobnobbing with lobbies and encouraging division among groups in order to control the population) should really take a step back. If YOU, the people, had more control of your own health care you would not allow some of the health care abuses that occur. Doctors haven’t taken away your control—government has!
    DO something about your government (vote them out and insist on transparency and accountability to YOU) and many of the problems health care faces will resolve. Wake up people or you will lose this freedom and MANY others.

    • Lou

      Yep we have a government of criminals carrying out the agenda of Eugenicists.

      This is just a simple truth that explains ALL aspects of our current “health” and many other problems.

      Why do we spend 10,000 per Kid/year and get kids who know NOTHING but how to put a condom on a banana? Hint Kids are being taught NOT to question authority even when it is clearly WRONG.

      Why do we spend 50 billion/year to “stop drugs” and the drugs flood in? Hint Opium production in Afghanistan has gone up 2000% since our troops started protecting the opium fields from the “evil”Taliban who had shut down Afghan Opium production.

      WHY? WHY? WHY?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI

  • Jeannemarie

    My experience with drs. and Medicare is mostly with a much older friend of mine. She was so healthy that she rarely even went to a dr., but after a fall she ended up in a nursing home. I thought that the things they charged for were a little over the top sometimes, but was not prepared for the abuse at the end of her life. She was shifted to another nursing home without even contacting me by using the head of that home claiming to be her friend though she had never even met her. She was drugged and stuck in a bed and not even fed. I was ill at the time or would have been on top of this. One day, I got a call from the hospital near where she lived telling me to come immediately before she passed away. It was the end of her life, but only by the egregious acts of her new doctor, who was connected to the home she was now in. When I saw the Medicare charges for the short time she was in the home, I was outraged. They had drugged her with multiple drugs that were counter indicated, drugs that the drug provider would not send at first because they were dangerous for someone of her years (98)…and were overruled by the dr. In the charges, though she was unable to walk because of the lack of nutrition and the drugs, there were multiple charges for all kinds of therapy that she didn’t have. Physical, occupational and on and on. It was a large payout. I called Medicare to report the completely false charges and was blown off. Just who in the heck are they harassing? This dr. did this with all his patients and was one of the crudest, cruelest drs. I have ever dealt with. What a mess!

    • Lou

      Does this look like government sanctioned “mercy killing”? It sure does to me.

      A nurse ten years ago told me there were “institutions” set up to end the lives of those “whose time had come”

      God only help us as Oh Bum A care and its 1300 Rationing Boards kicks in!

  • Lou

    So what is the answer?

    Our founders expected each Citizen to be in CHARGE of his life. This includes his health. NO ONE is responsible for your health but YOU. NOT your Doctor NOT the hospital and MOST CERTAINLY NOT our half to Communist Government.

    Learn about your health. It will take hundreds of hours. Yes YOU will have to work. YES you will not be able to take a pill every time you get a headache. In FACT you will not be able to take ANY toxic drug laden pills at all if you value your health. Learn you CANNOT eat most of the FDA/Rockefeller sanctioned crap found in our “supermarkets” Learn you cannot run to the “Doctor” for MOST of your health problems. YOU must solve them YOURSELF.

    Learn to say NO! To the Doctors, to the hospital and most certainly to the criminal government in DC et al.

  • Ed Fogarty

    Insurers control and ration health care and daily let people die by denying benefits on legal
    evasions. The medical profession gets cheated by insurers also. The government isn’t perfect but are an arms length bargainer to set prices in a way the patient can’t and the insurers have no incentive
    to as long as the insureds cough up enough premium for insurers to rake off enough to make them happy. Those providers who won’t take medicare and medicaid —–for the most part=== are simple money grubbers.. Some offset that by charity but notg to the degree of their doctor grand fathers who typically did 1/2 their work for free or a bag of tomatoes. I would love to have the government pay me for all the fees I write off or do for a sack of tomatoes. Ed Fogarty Lawyer small firm

  • Evan Eberhardt

    Medicine works just like any other industry, and it works best as a free-market. Medicare and Medicaid are the antithesis of a free-market and are thus, of course, rife with government abuse and corruption. Just imagine if all medicine is nationalized? Ayn Rand’s prophetic work ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is happening right before our eyes. Vote against EVERY politician that wants to ‘help’ the country by stealing your private rights and transferring it to the state.

    • Jill Herendeen

      WHAT free market? Are you free to start your own hospital? your own health insurance company? start your own medical school? Not unless you own warehouses full of money.

      Meanwhile, the rest of the industrialized world’s citizens are living longer & healthier lives than we are, under the unspeakable tyranny of single-payer healthcare. Go figure.

  • SE

    I shouldn’t be so judgementally harsh, I suppose. I agree much of what is your own concern is your own concern. Things just don’t have to be that expensive do they? In principle, if something works better, it should be done, not priced out of reach most of us (in health). No competition seems to be the reason or motivation for the rise in the costs of not only healthcare, but of just about anything.
    But with the situation in the Gulf of Mexico, what else is going to happen. Ultimately, as mean as I feel, I sure do pray for a good outcome for all of this.

  • HANK

    Please…Big Pharma has been pushing their poisons off on us for years and when someone lives long enough to sue them for their destroyed health, the matter is settled quietly and the victim gets paid to shut up. General Practitioners, a euphemism for Big Pharma’s distribution people, get paid vacations, profit sharing, and who knows what else from Big Pharma for prescribing these chemical concoctions called “medicine” .Based almost entirely on Big Pharma’s self financed studies, the distribution people (doctors), prescribe these “meds” based upon lab tests and formulas dictated by…you guessed it…Big Pharma. These companies are making billions and could care less about your diet, lifestyle or exercise…but they’re making billions annually and the distributors are getting paid billions collectively to hand out these “meds” most of which have worse side effects than the illnesses they are intended to cure. It’s all about money and profit. The Doc’s deserve a high salary…but when they’re in it for the profit why would they want you to get well? There’s no money in healthy people.

  • It’s all been said, better than I can.

  • Lou

    “There’s no money in healthy people.”

    And there is plenty of advantage in a sick and debilitated Citizenry when you are destabilizing and taking over a country.

  • Vicki

    I agree with Hank, who responded on July 22. His statement “There’s no money in healthy people” is the answer to all the questions about why our health care system is the way it is. Honest, caring people don’t understand what motivates others to create a system of suffering. It’s hard for them to believe that there are actually people who have less regard for the human condition than they do for their dogs. We are scared and disallusioned, when we look outside of ourselves and really see that is reality. I know I sound callous. I pray constantly to God for intervention and to change the hearts of the people perpetuating this on the American people. I pray for him to guide my decisions for voting in the future, but, no matter what happens, His will will always be done.

  • Tom

    As a RN who cannot bill Medicare, there are many other threats to nurses from HIPAA, including jail time, fines, and a ruined life. This is just one of the many reasons not to go into health care in the first place and I’m working diligently to get out of it altogether.

  • Nancy Wyld

    I keep wondering how the government gets away with practicing medicine without a license.

    • Ron

      The government is a broker for Pharma business. They do not have the license nor have paid the fees for registering as a broker. So do I smell a lawsuit?

  • Maybe indeed.

    This is just not a problem. When all the doctors are in prison the prisons will open clinics and hospitals. Health care problem solved.

  • Ron

    What makes me sick is that the government thinks they can ‘punish’ those for improper use of monies then they themselves can’t seem to be audited and punished for their improper handling of tax payers money. SUE the government!