KIRSTERS BAISH| It’s not news that there are some serious issues with our health care system in America. President Trump has made it one of his goals to correct the major problems that affect so many American lives. In more recent news, however, 400 people were just charged for their parts in health care fraud and opioid scams. Attorney General Jeff Sessions explained that the total cost of all the scams combined was $1.3 billion.
Sessions described the scams as the “largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history.” It truly is scary that trusted doctors, nurses, and pharmacists knowingly violated their oaths and as Sessions put it “put greed ahead of their patients.” We put our trust in doctors, hoping that they will do everything they can in order to help us. People trusted these men and women, and all they got in return was complete betrayal. These “professionals” put their patients’ lives in danger for a quick buck. This is a serious problem in our country. Money means more than human life.
Six of the people being charged are doctors from Michigan. They are being accused of being a part of a scam in which they purposely prescribed opioids to their patients who DID NOT NEED THEM. The worst part of the whole thing is that a rehabilitation center in Florida is actually being charged for bribing addicts. Their bribes, you may be asking? Gift cards and strip club field trips. This amounted to $58 million in completely made up treatments and tests.
Investigators working on the scams have explained that the people being charged also include more than 120 people who ILLEGALLY prescribed and handed out prescription narcotic painkillers without proper reason. We have doctors take the oath so we can prevent these kinds of issues. It’s extremely disheartening to see that doctors aren’t taking their jobs seriously. The opioid epidemic in our country is a growing issue and it’s scams like these that push us further behind in the fight to end the problem. More than 52,000 Americans died as the result of drug overdoses in 2015. This was an all-time high for the United States. These “healthcare professionals” knowingly put people’s lives in danger and further fed the opioid problem in our country. And to think they put people’s lives on the line for money. It’s truly sickening.
Andrew McCabe, FBI director, explained, “in some cases, we had addicts packed into standing-room-only waiting rooms waiting for these prescriptions. They are a death sentence, plain and simple.”
And that isn’t all. Sessions explained that nearly 300 health care providers have been either suspended or banned from even participating in federal health care programs due to the scams. Sessions said, “They seem oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their greed. Their actions not only enrich themselves, often at the expense of taxpayers, but also feed addictions and cause addictions to start.”
That’s right, this was all happening on your dime. Your hard-earned tax money was going towards providing junkies with pills that were actually aiding in killing them.
More and more health care fraud sweeps have been happening all over the country every single year. Officials have not yet found a way to stop the scams from happening in the first place, but they are definitely working towards that goal.
The crazy thing is that the practitioners being charged were billing programs such as Medicare and Medicaid as well as programs that are meant to serve the armed forced and retired military members and their families. This is just sickening. The Justice Department has explained that they are also charging them with things like billing the programs for unnecessary drugs. Said drugs were never even purchased or given to patients! So, that leaves us wondering… where did the drugs end up?
Our current health care system is total crap, and we are lucky to have a President like Trump in office. He is actually working to change our system in order to make it better for taxpayers. Investigators will continue to work towards stopping more of these scams from popping up, but it is unlikely that ALL scams will cease right away. It’s a scary world we live in when big pharma and the government rule all.