January 10, 2012

Stop Medicare Waste - John Stossel's Take

John Stossel recently took to his blog in continued support of Amigo's goal of reducing Medicare waste in the mobility industry. Here is an excerpt from his blog post on FoxBusiness.com:

Medicare is going broke, but almost no one wants to cut any of it.

In my Fox Business show on "Government Healthcare Gone Wrong," I reported how tax money is generously given to people who buy power wheelchairs. Commercials say you can get them at "little or no cost to you!" It's true. And about 170,000 people did last year!

But of course there is a cost, and taxpayers pick up the tab--about $700 Million last year.

Not all of them really needed a $3000 power wheel chair. Fraud and overspending has been a problem for the past decade. According to the US Inspector General, more than half of people who got the power chairs in 2007 never proved a need for them. Meanwhile, elderly people who might benefit from power scooters, which might be a better option for them, often don't get them, because Medicare pays a smaller percentage of their cost.

We featured power scooters in our segment because they cost the government a third of what power chairs do. Is it a better choice than a power chair? Probably for some. The point is that when government pays 100% for expensive health care, and a panel of bureaucrats decides which devices qualify and which don't, money is wasted.

To read the full blog post, click here.

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