A Case for Strengthening Medicare

This is why I am forced to disagree anytime someone suggests that we should never touch Medicare at all and under any circumstances.

MIAMI (Reuters) - Ninety-one suspects, including doctors and nurses, have been charged in connection with a new rash of healthcare fraud schemes aimed at bilking the government out of about $295 million, U.S. authorities said on Wednesday. [...]

Around half of the defendants were charged in Miami, the southeastern city widely viewed by law enforcement experts as the healthcare fraud capital of the United States.

The Miami defendants alone were accused of participation in fraud schemes involving a total of nearly $160 million in false billings for home and mental health services, occupational and physical therapy, HIV infusion, and other services.

"South Florida remains ground zero for healthcare fraud," John V. Gillies, special agent in charge of the FBI's Miami division, told reporters in Miami.

According to court documents, the defendants allegedly participated in schemes to submit claims to Medicare for treatments that were medically unnecessary and often never provided.

Obviously fraud has nothing to do with benefits, but as far as I am aware, no one in the Democratic party has ever suggested cutting benefits.

The Democratic party's preferred method of "fixing" Medicare is altering the rules of payment and delivery, focusing on grouping necessary procedures into fewer appointments and reducing the amount of duplicate procedures to save money.

Naturally, the Republicans oppose anything that would save the nation money with cries of "socialism" and "government takeover."

By the way, as I've pointed out several times in the past, Medicare fraud is a $60 billion dollar per year industry and it's the most lucrative crime in the state of Florida, surpassing even the illegal drug trade. It would seem appropriate that the governor of Florida is a Medicare fraudster.

Strengthening Medicare involves altering the system to ensure this kind of abuse is no longer possible, or at the very least much more difficult. Strengthening Medicare has nothing to do with cutting benefits, which is what the Republicans would prefer to do.