by Tanna Kasperowicz
For some time I have been upset with President Obama about the fluorescent light bulb issue: U.S. citizens will be required to use fluorescent light bulbs by a certain year, I think it’s 2013. All traditional light bulbs will be phased out. Recently, I discovered that it was my George W. Bush who signed the light bulb bill into law.
Next, I wanted to recall Governor Patrick for the free health care pool which Boston Hearld writer Christine McConville wrote about costing the state millions of dollars in fake claims. And then I discover it was my Mitt Romney who made it law in 2006 under Romneycare. I had put my foot in my mouth twice in one week. What I think happened here is that Romney intended patients swimming in the health care pool to prove eligibility, but then he left office in 2007, the DEMS got back in and the plan for a claims adjudication system for out-patients got mothballed.
The well-meaning health pool which was supposed to cover uninsured Mass. residents, and be aided and abetted by a fraud-proof system, ended up being a cash cow for hospitals and health care centers.
The law which was supposed to require patients to document their need and their eligibility turned into a free-for-all. McConville pointed out in her article that the state runs the program on “the honor system.” Is this a joke?
Health Care providers are churning the system – just follow the money. But you can hardly blame them.
Hospitals are required to provide health care regardless of ability to pay; health care centers, hospitals and docs can’t rely upon the government to reimburse them in a timely manner or at all. Medicare and Medicaid pay less than the cost of caring for patients, pressuring hospitals and doctors to charge privately insured patients more to compensate. Add to that the dwindling, diminished private patient whose private health care company folded.
And there’s that nest-egg, that wonderful free health care law just waiting to be milked. So, they milked it.
According to patients rights activist Betsy McCaughey, “Government programs are to blame for over $86 billion of cost-shifting.”
Sure hope McConnville will be following up on this issue, because the Governor doesn’t sound like he’s going to be involved. Last week he demeaned the Inspector General’s report that demonstrated millions being paid for fake claims, calling the report just a few isolated incidences.
The report found $7 million spent to provide care for non-residents; $2.7 million for ‘unlikely’ claims; $15.1 million for 60,987 ‘medically unnecessary’ claims; and $6 million in duplicate payments to hospitals and clinics.
McConnville reported on April Fools Day that Republicans filed 3 amendments to the state’s 2011 supplemental budget in an effort to fix the leaks, but DEMS voted everything down.© Copyright 2011 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed