Tuesday December 10, 2013
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The main reason health care costs so much is because of excess profit taking. Some people, not happy to merely gouge the nation, go even farther. Read on....
Los Angeles Doctor's Hospitals, Incorporated, a California-based hospital chain which is a subsidiary of Pacific Health Corporation, has agreed to pay $16.5 million to settle allegations that its hospitals were involved in a kickback scheme in which homeless people were taken to hospitals for sometimes unneeded treatment, and government programs were billed for the work.
LADH and PCH agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicare and Medicald through the payment of illegal kickbacks to "marketers" who recruited people to act as patients, the U.S. attorney for central California said in a news release.
Though PHC was criminally charged a month ago, the charges will be dismissed in 2018 if the company follows through with its agreement to pay the fine.
I say, put the %$#@! crooks in jail.
THEN watch how corporations change!
Slapping wrists with a fine, a fine that doesn't even equal the profits made by some scam, will never stop fraud!
If you make more money than you lose, why quit doing something crooked? But if you are going to be fined 5 times what you made and are going spend hard prison time, then maybe corporations will quit doing such things.
Let me add a couple of words: "Corporations" are not evil. Corporations do not do anything wrong. It is greedy people who do wrong things. While it may be necessary to fine a corporation for something like this, the fines should not stop there. Heavy, impoverishing fines should be laid upon everyone who was involved in the scheme, and who had knowledge of what was going on.
But the Supreme Court says that corporations are "individuals"doesn't it?
That seems to me to have been one of the worst aberrations in decision-making in the history of the nation.
Yes, we have had an occasional decision made here and there in the past in which the justices pretty obviously leaned either left or right, and yes they are chosen at times for the job by the President exactly because of those leanings, but by and large they make good and wise decisions.
But that one...?
That decision seems so straight up and down partisan that I lost a lot of my respect for the Court when it was made.
To be honest, I haven't read the decision. Perhaps there is some small bit of logic in it that would make me think, but simply on the basis of who has, or does not have, the right to influence an election, I firmly believe that is an individual right, not a collective one, and therefore that the Court should have ruled that Congress, speaking for the people, has the authority to prevent the undue influence of money from throwing an election one way or another. I think wisdom dictates that we have to climb out of the money pit we are in, that we must find a way to ensure that all voices are equally heard, and that if we do not do that we will doom ourselves to controlled by special interests.
This is not 1776. The nation is not composed of a group of people far separated from each other in time and space. This is 2012, a time when our lives can be filled to overflowing with words which have the power to affect who we vote for, words that are often untrue, deviously worded, or aimed at those foolish enough to listen. In Congress does not have the power to stop such things, who does?
I started to write an example of a vicious, untrue, lying, suggestive telephone call that could be made concerning one of our two presidential candidates, but I stopped myself, worried that even though I said it was untrue it might, by just focusing attention in the wrong direction, hurt one of the two men running. So you'll just have to imagine a phone call that starts with, "Would it bother you if you learned that...?"
Stick any lie in there you want. Consider the potential effect on the campaign. Look at what some filthy, dirty lie, couched as a question, has the potential to do. Nothing could be worse than the other dirty, rotten, unfair, untrue phone calls that ring phones in this nation at times.
If Congress--you and I--do not have the power to control such things, and to punish those guilty of it, then we need to change that. Yes, it might be hard to do, and it might take a lot of thought and careful wording, but we owe it to ourselves to do it, and to stop all forms of manipulation where elections are concerned.
Tom, I haven't received any of the phone calls you describe. Maybe they haven't gotten to "w" yet. :-)
The calls that really get my goat are the ones that ask who you are going to vote for. It is no one's business who I vote for -- especially some stranger calling on the phone.
At least you have a live person to hang up on. I am so tired of recorded political calls. At least 3 a day and then the security co. that tells me the FBI has told them how many robberies have been in my neighborood. I need a security system. And the beat goes on.
I don't know what happened to no solicitation calls.
Come on Nov. so we can get rid of some of the calls.
The following is about health care everywhere. I am not writing about anyone in particular anywhere. It happens all over. We have some very good medical people here in Payson.
Health care is expensive because of all the fraud! Over priced pills etc. tests charged for that weren't done.
Check your bills and see WHAT was charged on them and how much was paid. It is a game with the providers and the insurance companies.
$240.00 charged for an office call and the dr. is paid $84.00
$3.50 for an aspirin in an ER that you are sent a bill for because the insurance won't pay it.
If you don't have any insurance, the charges are different for cash for tests and ex rays, if you can get a dr. to write the orders.
But most drs. won't take you for a patient if you don't have insurance. That is one of the reasons a lot of people wait untill after 5:00 pm and go to the ER because hospitals cannot refuse you treatment.
Call a drs. office where you have never been and the first question they ask is what kind of insurance you have. Some refuse to see you even if you have the cash to pay.
I started my education on this back in the 70's with all of my husbands health problems. some of the time with insurance and sometimes when we didn't have insurance.
It started in San Francisco where he had to go for an angioplasty for his heart. He was one of the first one hundred people to have that done in the US.
Then Stanford Univ. Hosp. in Palo Alto Calif. for a Sleep Apnea test. There and New York were the only two places to get a sleep test at the time. Now we have one in Payson.
I agree, of course, that there is fraud is medical charges. I have to. I've seen figures that show that some crazy percentage or other (I think it was 75%) of charges in the country for one type of medical equipment occurs in one county in Florida. Since 75% of all the sick people in the country don't live there it seems fairly obvious that there is fraud involved. And medicare keeps screaming that if Congress would authorize more investigators the return on every $1.00 spent would be $20. And the hospitals over in California that we are discussing certainly showed what they are like when they paid people to go out on the streets to bring in phony clients.
But I check my doctor bills all the time and have yet to find even ten cents worth of anything that was an overcharge, so I am led to believe that the vast majority of the costs lie in excessive profit taking, not in fraud. For example--using numbers that are only remembered from things I've read and quite admittedly may not be absolutely correct--I have read that some operations cost as much as $375,000, yet they take place within a few hours and require only the services of a handful of people and the usual facilities.
I don't think it is at all unreasonable to ask why the big number?
The same is true of some drugs. When I was going through college I took a very interesting quartet of organic chemistry courses, and then worked as a paid assistant to a professor in doing some drug research. I spent some time researching parallel ways to make certain drugs, some of which were very expensive (hundreds of dollars per pill). I never had much success because I only had one semester in which to work: others had to take over. But what concerned me most of all was the fact that some of the drugs, though they were relatively simple and easy to make, were so expensive. I could not see why that was. If it costs so little to make drugs, why are they so expensive? My answer would be excess profit taking.
Another thing that troubles me are laws against insurance companies working across state lines to offer lower rates. I can see no legitimate reason for that. It is especially bad in places like Gila County. We pay much higher rates for insurance simply because we cannot be grouped in with people in areas of higher population. Why? What difference does it make where you live?
Proof of all this can be had by just looking into the costs of some things, and the price at which they are sold. I recently read about a medical product where it was plainly stated that the cost of manufacture and shipment was only 12% of its cost. A good profit on a manufactured item is 100%. But in that case it was 800%. And we get to pay it.
If the government is going to have a program in which charges are paid with taxes or payroll deductions, then the government should set reasonable prices for products.
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