Tag Archives | Medicare

Bombs of Love: Republicans Want Tax Dollars to Kill, Not Heal

Images Money (CC BY 2.)

Images Money (CC BY 2.)

Via Leo Gerard at Alternet:

Shock and awe describes the budgets issued last week by Republicans in the House and Senate. The shock is that the GOP never stops trying to destroy beloved programs like Medicare. Awe inspiring is their audacity in describing their killing plans as moral.

When the House released its budget last Tuesday, Georgia Republican Rep.Rob Woodall said, “A budget is a moral document; it talks about where your values are.” His chamber’s spending plan shows that Republicans highly value war and place no value on health care for America’s elderly, working poor and young adults.

The opposite of win-win, the GOP budgets are kill-kill. Despite the GOP’s successful demand in 2011 for spending caps, Republicans now want more money for the military. War kills, as too many families of troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan know. By contrast, Republicans gouge domestic spending, condemning Americans to die unnecessarily from untreated disease.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Medicare Scam: Billions went to powered wheelchairs, but how many claims were legitimate?

Pride Jazzy Select power chair by  Stephen B Calvert Clariosophic (Wikimedia Commons)

Pride Jazzy Select power chair by Stephen B Calvert Clariosophic (Wikimedia Commons)

via The Washington Post:

LOS ANGELES — In the little office where they ran the scam, a cellphone would ring on Sonia Bonilla’s desk. That was the sound of good news: Somebody had found them a patient.

When Bonilla answered the phone, one of the scam’s professional “patient recruiters” would read off the personal data of a senior citizen. Name. DOB. Medicare ID number. Bonilla would hang up and call Medicare, the enormous federal health-insurance program for those over 65.

She asked a single question: Had the government ever bought this patient a power wheelchair?

No? Then the scam was off and running.

“If they did not have one, they would be taken to the doctor, so the doctor could prescribe a chair for them,” Bonilla recalled. On a log sheet, Bonilla would make a note that the recruiter was owed an $800 finder’s fee.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Man Refused Medicaid For Breast Cancer Treatment Because Of Gender

370px-Pink_ribbon.svg

Photo: MesserWoland (CC)

If you’re a man you can’t get breast cancer. False. If you’re a man you can’t get medicaid to cover treatment for breast cancer. True. International Business Times reports:

Raymond Johnson, 26, a construction worker who makes $9 an hour, was diagnosed with breast cancer about a month ago, after he checked himself into the emergency room because of a throbbing pain from a lump in his chest.

However, Johnson’s job of laying down tile does not make enough to pay for treatment, amounting in $10,000 worth of medical costs.

“We are again urging [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] to reconsider,” the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. “It’s a very clear example of how overly rigid federal regulations don’t serve the interests of the people we’re supposed to be helping.”

The uninsured 26-year-old was reportedly stunned when doctors delivered his diagnosis – breast cancer – and shortly after was denied coverage through the state health insurance program, Medicaid, which provides medical treatment for breast cancer patients merely because he’s a man.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The U.S. Owes $62 Trillion in Financial Promises

Out Of MoneyDennis Cauchon writes in USA Today:
The federal government's financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for. This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation's gross domestic product. Medicare alone took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities, more than the record deficit prompting heated debate between Congress and the White House over lifting the debt ceiling.
Continue Reading