Raise your hands if you think giving the government authority to force American citizens to take PHARMA under the guise of mental illness is a good idea-------NO ONE!!!!!! Remember, your incumbent in Maryland voted for the NDAA national security law that allows the government to hold American citizens without charge for as long as they want.
This is what they do in Iran and China to dissidents.
What we are seeing is yet another money vehicle to build corporate infrastructure with taxpayer money that will end up helping almost none of the people it is directed to help. Longevity in the US will drop in one generation from lack of access to health care for 80% of Americans.
Today, I'd like to speak to Medicare and health industry fraud that is already soaring with deregulated/consolidated health markets. There will be no controlling global health industry just as our government says it cannot control banks.
Remember when we were told the idea of state health exchanges were to give consumers more access to information and that would increase competition? SURPRISE----THAT WAS NOT THE GOAL AT ALL.
MANDATING INSURANCE AND CONSOLIDATION AND DEREGULATION ARE THE GOALS OF ACA-----THAT'S A CORPORATE POL FOR YOU-----ALWAYS WORKING FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT.
As we watch Dr. Sharfstein of Maryland's health exchange debacle testify to Congress about the mess that is Maryland's health exchange please remember that throughout this process Sharfstein was arrogant in making the process behind closed doors......NO TRANSPARENCY ....and came out of public meetings conducted behind closed doors to tell those gathered that the details of how health institutions would be monitored for meeting Federal requirements and for oversight of the entire process would be developed at a later time. He did not look to care about the descriptions of the tiered plans. As the article below shows, Maryland is ranked again at the bottom in transparency in its health exchange. Sharfstein told me-----THERE IS NO FRAUD IN HEALTH CARE.
With Medicare being folded into this Maryland private health system as if this Federal program did not exist-------THIS IS CRITICAL FOR SENIORS. We have lost 1/2 of Medicare/Medicaid spending for these few decades and this pace will soar under these Affordable Care Act conditions.
MARYLAND DOES NOT RECOGNIZE MEDICARE AS A PROGRAM....IT HAS INTEGRATED IT INTO THE TIERED ACCESS GIVEN ALL MARYLAND CITIZENS.
Below you see a good report on the state of transparency in health system exchanges. Please Google it. Remember, we were told the point of these exchanges was transparency for the consumer......MARYLAND AS ALWAYS IS SHOWN WITH AN 'F'.
States Fail the Grade on Health Care Price
Despite the growing number of laws that require publicly available health care pricing for consumers, most states fail the test of transparency, according to a new report from the Health Care..
Seniors know the most expensive costs to health care can be PHARMA and as I showed in my last blog neo-liberals and Obama are pushing hard to make sure PHARMA maximizes profits all over the world, so you can bet here in America citizens will not be able to access ordinary drugs with the Affordable Care Act. Medicare Part D was created by George Bush to end the Federal program Medicare by making Americans have to leave the Federal program in order to afford PHARMA. Policies like Medicare Advantage are private health plans designed to end Medicare. You can bet once they get most people onto these private PHARMA plans----these plans will disappear.
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE AND MEDICARE PART D ARE ONLY MEANT TO END THE FEDERAL PROGRAM MEDICARE.
This is why neo-liberals doubled-down on funding Medicare Part D as they work hard to make PHARMA as expensive as possible. This is bad for you and me, not good.
Don't worry that Maryland politicians and the people they appoint to manage Maryland Department of Health cannot see entitlement fraud -----CHINA IS DOING THIS FOR THE WORLD.
THIS IS HOW RIDICULOUS THE LEVEL OF FRAUD AND CORRUPTION IN AMERICAN CORPORATIONS HAS GOTTEN. THE CITIZENS OF AMERICA ARE REDUCED TO BEING PROTECTED BY ONE NATION WANTING TO CORNER PROFIT OVER ANOTHER.
All of the candidates for Governor of Maryland will continue to work for this global corporate mess except CINDY WALSH FOR GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND.
I WILL REBUILD ALL WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL AGENCIES IN MARYLAND AND SHOUT FOR THE FEDERAL JUSTICE AGENCIES TO DO THE SAME!
You know if US corporations are acting this fraudulently overseas.....and importing their products from overseas.....WE THE PEOPLE IN THE US ARE VICTIMS OF ABSOLUTELY NO OVERSIGHT!
Investing 7/29/2013 @ 4:13PM Forbes
Is Big Pharma Addicted To Fraud?
Recent news out of China raises the question once again of whether any aspect of the pharmaceutical business can be trusted.
First, Chinese authorities announced they were investigating GlaxoSmithKline GSK +1.24% and other pharma companies for bribing doctors, hospitals and government officials to buy and prescribe their drugs. Glaxo is accused of using a Shanghai travel agency to funnel at least $489 million in bribes.
Then the New York Times revealed last week the alarming news that an internal Glaxo audit found serious problems with the way research was conducted at the company’s Shanghai research and development center.
Last year Glaxo paid $3 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations of, among other things, marketing widely used prescription drugs for unapproved treatments and using kickbacks to promote sales.
And in 2009, Glaxo paid $750 million to resolve civil and criminal charges that quality failures led to serious contamination of drug products at its manufacturing operations in Puerto Rico.
Glaxo is a leader in pharma fraud and wrongdoing, with other industry heavyweights close behind. Over the past decade, whistleblowers and government investigations in the US have exposed a never-ending series of problems by numerous pharma companies in all facets of the industry, starting with fraudulent “research” papers used to bolster marketing and continuing through to the manufacture of contaminated and defective products, the marketing of drugs for unapproved and life-threatening uses and the mispricing of prescription drugs.
But the combination of pharma’s noncompliant corporate culture and the prevalence of corrupt business practices in China and other emerging economies could have a lethal impact on many more consumers as pharma shifts more research and development functions, manufacturing operations and marketing efforts to those growing markets.
In China, Glaxo allegedly used the travel agency to hand out inducements by claiming the payments were for travel and meeting expenses. Glaxo issued a statement by Abbas Hussain, Glaxo’s president international, that acknowledged some of its executives may have “acted outside of our processes and controls which breaches Chinese law.”
Chinese officials say they are investigating other foreign companies for similar charges. Merck & Co MRK -0.27%., Roche Holding and Sanofi SNY +1.31% SA confirm they used the same travel agency as Glaxo, but they haven’t been accused of wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca AZN -0.86% — which previously reported that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department — said last week that police in Shanghai questioned two company sales managers, but “we have no reason to believe it is related to the other investigations.”
If the bribery accusations are true, the pharma companies could face charges in the US for violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an anti-bribery law, as well as charges by Chinese authorities. Last year, Pfizer paid $60.2 million and Eli Lilly & Co. paid $29.4 million to the US to settle allegations they had bribed government officials, including hospital administrators and government doctors, in China and other countries to approve and prescribe their products.
But having to deal with a new cop on the bribery beat – China – should scare all pharma companies and their employees who have engaged in bribery. Four Chinese-born senior executives in China were originally detained, and last week Chinese media reported that police have detained 18 more Glaxo employees and some medical personnel. A British consultant to Glaxo in China also reportedly is being held. Chinese authorities may hold all of them in custody as long as the police feels it’s necessary – putting additional pressure on Glaxo and other pharma companies to resolve this matter.
Though Big Pharma’s practices in China are grabbing headlines, not much about them is truly new. Those tactics – the use of payments disguised as speaking and consulting fees, luxury travel, sex and numerous other inducements to expand sales of prescription drugs — are marketing techniques homegrown in the U.S. They simply have been exported to emerging markets.
Now it’s China’s turn to express the same outrage that U.S. prosecutors did when faced with a recalcitrant industry that uses illegal inducements as a core business strategy for selling its prescription drugs.
“I need to remind foreign pharmaceutical companies that, because they occupy a leading position in the industry and reap huge amounts of commercial profits, they should also bear a great responsibility to society and the public,” Gao Feng, a Public Security Ministry official said at a July 15 briefing. “While we don’t expect them to set a moral example, we expect them to obey the law.”
That may be too much to expect from pharma, which has paid more than $30.2 billion in civil and criminal penalties to the US and state governments and continues to face more allegations of wrongdoing.
Big pharma’s woes in China underscore that the industry – despite huge penalties and a long string of public mea culpas – has a fraud habit that is just too profitable to kick. Finding a cure should be a top priority of regulators worldwide.
As corporate NPR/APM was proud to state, no worries about fraud and penalties because these fines are so low that fraud settlements are simply worked into operational costs for US corporations now. They are so low because neo-liberals in Congress and Maryland pass laws that cap awards and eliminate damage awards. Remember, this is your Medicare Trust being eaten with fraud and then they tell you there are not enough funds in these Trusts.
NEO-LIBERALS IN CONGRESS AND MARYLAND WORK TO PASS LAWS THAT PROTECT CORPORATIONS FROM PUBLIC JUSTICE.
If you wonder why Maryland is never in the news for the same problems I describe across the country it is because Maryland does not have a public sector health department -----all has been privatized to non-profits like Johns Hopkins which in turn are the source of much of the malfeasance. Add to that a captured media that does no investigations to hold power accountable and you have no news in Maryland. Autocratic societies do not allow bad press to escape, only propaganda.
MARYLAND IS RANKED AT THE BOTTOM IN THE NATION FOR FRAUD, CORRUPTION, AND LACK OF TRANSPARENCY SO YOU KNOW THAT WHAT HAPPENS ACROSS AMERICA IS SOARING IN MARYLAND.
Below is just an isolated picture of what happens in specialties throughout health care. It happens because there is no oversight and no public justice so all these health institutions assume they will get away with it. It is fraud and profiteering that creates high costs in US health care and the Affordable Care Act does nothing for this. Simply rebuilding oversight structures in Medicare and Medicaid cuts costs in half. Why is Maryland not doing this??????
IF YOUR CANDIDATE IS NOT SHOUTING TO REBUILD RULE OF LAW IN YOUR STATE AND IN AMERICA----THEY ARE A NEO-LIBERAL WORKING FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT.
If you watch TV you are seeing more and more advertizing of trial lawyers and class action lawsuits for medical procedures, PHARMA, and devices placed onto market without proper clinical study using you and I as test subjects. WHOOPS, THAT DIDN'T WORK THEY SAY. Neo-liberal answer to this increasing legal environment------END CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS.
'Even the most jaded experts in fraud enforcement see a new level of callousness as some in the healthcare industry forget basic right and wrong in their quest for profits at any cost, including human suffering'.
Investing 9/12/2013 @ 4:36PM
Medicare Blood Money: The Healthcare Industry's Misalignment of Profits and Humane Medical Treatment Recent stories out of Chicago and Detroit give an unusually cruel meaning to “for-profit” medicine.
Authorities say a doctor at Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago directed that his patients be heavily sedated, so that it was difficult for them to breathe. Then he would perform tracheotomies, cutting holes in their necks and windpipes, so they could breathe more easily.
The cost to Medicare for each tracheotomy: $160,000.
The cost to the patients – needless suffering. In some cases, death.
A Detroit oncologist is said to have administered unnecessary chemotherapy to patients who were in remission and ordered chemotherapy for end-of-life patients, rather than let the patients die in peace. The government said he even gave chemotherapy to people who didn’t have cancer. He allegedly made those treatment decisions simply to increase his Medicare payments.
Chemotherapy drugs are among the most toxic. Side effects from chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, swelling and pain.
Payments by Medicare to Michigan Hematology Oncology Clinics, the chain of clinics owned by the oncologist: $35 million over two years, $25 million of which was attributable to the oncologist, Dr. Farid Fata, according to the US Department of Justice.
The price patients paid: needless and extensive suffering up to their deaths.
In April, the government arrested the owner of Sacred Heart Hospital – where the tracheotomies were performed – as well as a senior executive at the hospital and four physicians affiliated with the hospital and charged them with conspiring to pay and receive illegal kickbacks in return for referring Medicare and Medicaid patients to the hospital. The Justice Department also said it was investigating alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud schemes involving unnecessary sedation, intubation and tracheotomy procedures.
Meanwhile, the Detroit doctor, who entered a not guilty plea, is being held on $9 million bond.
These appalling allegations, if proven, remind us that Medicare fraud is not just about money; it often is about human life and dignity. It is blindingly obvious that no one should have to endure a tracheotomy, unnecessary intubation or chemotherapy unless it is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, horrifying conduct by medical providers is not limited to individual physicians.
Big hospital chains (such as Tenet Healthcare ) have been accused of padding their bottom lines with money made from subjecting patients to unnecessary cardiology procedures. Big pharma has been known to sell vulnerable patients drugs contaminated with impurities, such as bacteria, glass and other substances (as happened with some GlaxoSmithKline and Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals drugs). Medical device companies (most recently Johnson & Johnson ) continued to sell hip implant devices despite thousands of complaints about pain, metal debris from the devices and the need for additional surgery.
Even the most jaded experts in fraud enforcement see a new level of callousness as some in the healthcare industry forget basic right and wrong in their quest for profits at any cost, including human suffering.
An oncologist who worked for Dr. Fata told the FBI that he had been “living with this hell” by working for the Detroit doctor, according to the criminal complaint.
At least the doctor lived through his hell. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for many of these patients.
Citizens of Maryland know neo-liberals are using Maryland as a model for opting out of the Federal Medicare program. Johns Hopkins has partnered with Humana in their consolidation scheme and if you want to go to Hopkins for treatment you must join this insurer. Humana is Medicare Advantage....a private Medicare insurer. So, the system is being built such that a hospital can partner with insurers that will force you off of Federal programs and into private. Do you really think the next step will not be to have these private Medicare plans in these state health systems?
THE ENTIRE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT CAME FROM THE SAME CONSERVATIVE THINK TANKS AS PAUL RYAN USES TO CREATE THE POLICY BELOW!!!! THIS IS THE PLAN FOR ENDING MEDICARE.
As you see below Ryan's plan is what Maryland is moving to do now. Neo-liberals and neo-cons will not leave any public asset or service in this race to send all wealth to the top.
Do you really think Medicare and Medicaid Trusts are really going bust if trillions of dollars in entitlement fraud is recovered and future fraud and profiteering is stopped? SHOUT OUT FOR NEO-LIBERALS TO STOP THE FRAUD.
Aug 2012 •
Paul Ryan's "Medicare Exchange"
Paul Ryan is Romney's choice. Conservatives remember with glee how Ryan shredded Obamacare at the President's health care summit. Ryan said the bill was "full of smoke and mirrors." He looked right into the President's eyes. Six minutes later, Obama could barely respond. Ryan's Medicare proposal now takes center stage. In March, Paul Ryan created shock waves with the Medicare reform proposed in his 2013 budget called "The Path to Prosperity." His bold step changed the debate forever. Mr. Ryan's Medicare proposal "begins with a commitment to keep the promises made to those who now are in or near retirement. Consequently, for those 55 and older, the Medicare program and its benefits will remain as they are, without change." Thus he acknowledges the dependent situation of some of the elderly. I'd like to report that Mr. Ryan, who brings all his Midwestern niceness into seemingly every encounter, proposes to completely obliterate Obamacare-like policies and give Americans a non-Medicare option in their sunset years. However, here are a few details: First, I'm pleased to tell you that Ryan's plan repeals Obamacare (p. 94). But then his plan "would set up a carefully monitored exchange for Medicare plans" (p. 97), which would act much like the ACA's federal Exchange, with the government deciding which plans are available to seniors. He would also extend it to "non-retirees by giving certain employers the option to offer their employees a free choice option, smoothing the transition from their working years to when seniors become Medicare-eligible" (p. 97). This portends the possibility of the Medicare Exchange becoming a National Exchange. Mr. Ryan's plan does move Medicare to a defined contribution program which he calls "premium support" (p. 96). However, it's not a voucher given to the individual, and just like the ACA, these government subsidies would be directly distributed to health plans through the Exchange (p. 97). Also, like the ACA, a cap on the growth rate of spending would be implemented (p. 53). And finally, like the ACA, his plan includes "risk adjustment," which is done through profiling of patients. Higher payments go to health plans that enroll high-risk recipients (p. 219). Means-testing of seniors would also be required (p. 98), the age of eligibility would increase in 2023 (p. 97), and medical liability lawsuits would be limited (p. 98). Thus, Medicare would stay in place with various government intrusions and controls on choice, access and price. Will Ryan's plan end Medicare as we know it? Medicare-as-we-know-it is already ending. The $38 trillion unfunded liability is three times the national debt, with bankruptcy possible as early as 2016. Medicare can't be saved in its present form. This is what scares politicians of all stripes who could soon be in the line of fire from 77 million babyboomers whose "retirement security" program is going bust.
While Paul Ryan's current plan contains some troubling provisions and does not create a needed escape hatch for seniors, it does recognize the crisis ahead and begin the critical "What next?" discussion.