Florida eye doc gets $21 million in Medicare—in one year

| April 9, 2014

ot a business? Got political connections? Got it made—at least in Florida, it seems. Some of you might think we’re beating a dead horse by continuing to describe our government and intertwined economic system as an oligarchy, but years ago, a very wise teacher, the late Vernetta Elkins, explained that every law made in this nation is about money. No matter what the law—be it about car insurance, spitting on the sidewalk, abortion, guns—someone is going to make money and someone is going to pay out some money.  Former Fort Wayne Urban League Director Bob Williams said government is about the redistribution of wealth. Folks who are complaining about President Obama doing that are either just waking up to the fact that from day one, this country was founded and run by folks who wanted to have their own aristocracy independent of England (why else all the wigs and trappings of the House of Lords and other such “high” institutions?) or they are trying to distract us common folk from realizing they’ve been redistributing wealth in their favor all along.

I heard a gentleman on TED Talks recently who was saying the government was stifling entrepreneurship. For example, he explained, all you should have t have to start a lawn care business is a lawn more and desire and not have to worry about a lot of red tape. What he neglected to mention is that big corporations—for example a lawn care franchise, will pay to lobby to have laws passed to keep independents from competing against them. Same in the beauty industry, etc. When asked, they’ll claim it to control the quality of service, but why are they so into this free enterprise idea of poorly qualified businesses will fail on their own then? Sounds suspect to us. And, have you ever noticed that the folks who constantly lobby for reductions in corporate taxes never seem to be on the front lines when it comes to lobbying for a tax break for the average citizen? But, they’re right there to cut benefits—but not corporate welfare or subsidies to folks who don’t grow food! And, these people can afford to have laws written that say if a poor person cuts corners, it’s welfare fraud. If a rich oligarch does it, it’s an “oversight in billing” or an “accounting mistake”—simply, the cost of doing business with the very small ruling class!

Want our advice? Get you a friend—a good friend—in high political office. Doesn’t matter if it’s Republican or Democrat. Then lobby for some government contracts. As this article on Medicare indicates, oligarchs pay themselves and their pals well. Of course you might have to have some outlays in the form of political campaign contributions or “kickbacks” (my, that a bad word!) but at the end of the day, the following proves it can pay off big!

South Florida ophthalmologist emerges as Medicare’s top-paid physician

Dr. Salomon Melgen

This July 20, 2009 photo shows Dr. Salomon Melgen at his office in West Palm Beach, Fla. Sen. Robert Menendez’s office says he reimbursed Melgen, a prominent Florida political donor, $58,500 on Jan. 4 of this year for the full cost of two of three trips Menendez took Melgen’s plane to the Dominican Republic in 2010. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Hector Gabino) HECTOR GABINO / AP

BY JAY WEAVER AND DANIEL CHANG
JWEAVER@MIAMIHERALD.COM

A South Florida doctor under criminal investigation for alleged excessive billing of Medicare emerged as the federal health program’s top-paid physician in the nation Wednesday, according to the most detailed data on physician payments ever released in Medicare’s nearly 50-year history.

Salomon Melgen, a West Palm Beach ophthalmologist, was paid $21 million by Medicare in 2012 — more than any other physician who billed the taxpayer-funded program that year, according to new government data.

More than half of those payments went toward reimbursing Melgen for his injections of a costly drug, Lucentis, to treat patients suffering from a retinal disease, macular degeneration. His prolific use of that drug is at the center of the U.S. attorney’s investigation into Melgen’s practice, which thrives largely on payments from the Medicare program.

via South Florida ophthalmologist emerges as Medicare’s top-paid physician – Miami-Dade – MiamiHerald.com.

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Category: Health, National, Politics

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