American Elephants

And You Were Saying About the Outrageous Profits of the Health Insurance Companies? by The Elephant's Child

60 Minutes did a fine report on Medicare fraud this past Sunday.  Medicare fraud is now estimated to total about $60 billion a year. The government insurance program that provides health care to 46 million elderly and disabled Americans provides a rich income stream for criminals who are constantly finding new ways to steal much of the half-trillion dollars that are paid out in Medicare benefits.

In South Florida, the only visible evidence of the crime are thousands of tiny clinics and pharmacies that occupy low-rent strip malls.  $60 billion is a lot of money.  Medicare loses seven times as much money to fraud than the combined profits of the 14 health insurance companies listed on the Fortune 500.

The reason that the “public option” is supposedly better than private insurance is the government’s low administrative costs.  The major reason why private insurance has higher administrative costs is that unlike the federal government, the private insurance companies make a serious effort to combat fraud. (emphasis added)

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