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New ‘Enemies Of The State': Medicare Doctors

From the Associated Press:

Database: Some docs getting millions from Medicare

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and SERDAR TUMGOREN | April 8, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million. Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.

No, this is part of a move to open a war on Medicare and doctors. (Because taking $700 billion away from Medicare to give to Obama-Care still isn’t enough.)

You see, the Medicare fees are far too costly. And that’s money that could be going to Obama’s base, via Obama-Care, or better yet, Medicaid.

Topping Medicare’s list was Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, whose relationship with Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., made headlines last year after news broke that the lawmaker used the doctor’s personal jet for trips to the Dominican Republic. Medicare paid Melgen $20.8 million.

What’s this?! The AP is so desperate for an example of a greedy doctor they are will even willing to mention a Democrat’s scandal?

(Which they pretty much ignored as it was happening. But do note how they still never mention why Mr. Menendez was going to the DR.)

AP’s analysis found that a small sliver of the more than 825,000 individual physicians in Medicare’s claims data base — just 344 physicians — took in top dollar, at least $3 million apiece for a total of nearly $1.5 billion…

Are we really supposed to believe that these numbers are that outrageous? Some doctors have only Medicare patients. So that would be their total income.

About 1 in 4 of the top-paid doctors — 87 of them — practice in Florida, a state known both for high Medicare spending and widespread fraud. Rounding out the top five states were California with 38 doctors in the top group, New Jersey with 27, Texas with 23, and New York with 18.

How can there be fraud? Back in 2010 Obama said he was going to get rid of fraud in Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, that was one of the ways he was going to pay for Obama-Care.

In the $3 million-plus club, 151 ophthalmologists — eye specialists — accounted for nearly $658 million in Medicare payments, leading other disciplines. Cancer doctors rounded out the top four specialty groups, accounting for a combined total of more than $477 million in payments. Overall, Medicare paid individual physicians nearly $64 billion in 2012. The median payment — the point at which half the amounts are higher and half are lower — was $30,265…

Again, none of this sounds even slightly outrageous to us. What’s the problem again? That this is money that could be going to pay for ‘free’ contraceptives and ‘free’ drug abuse treatments?

Over time, as researchers learn to mine the Medicare data, it could change the way medicine is practiced in the U.S. Doctor ratings, often based on the opinions of other physicians, would be driven by hard data, like statistics on baseball players…

BS. Over time, the government will decide that doctors are spending too much money on old people, and they will make them stop.

Melgen, the top-paid physician in 2012, has already come under scrutiny. In addition to allowing the use of his jet, the eye specialist was the top political donor for Menendez as the New Jersey Democrat sought re-election to the Senate that year. Menendez’s relationship with Melgen prompted Senate Ethics and Justice Department investigations. Menendez reimbursed Melgen more than $70,000 for plane trips.

The issue exploded in late January 2013, after the FBI conducted a search of Melgen’s West Palm Beach offices. Agents carted away evidence, but law enforcement officials have refused to say why. Authorities declined to comment on the open investigation.

The issue never ‘exploded,’ because our news media barely covered it. Because Mr. Menendez is a Democrat. But now they media needs a poster boy for Medicare greed. Even if they have to bring up a Democrat. A Democrat who was note even forced to resign.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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