Health

LeMieux's First Bill: Health-Care Fraud Prevention (in Lieu of Health-Care Coverage?)



We can all agree with what Florida's new senator, George LeMieux, says above, that this health-care fraud thing should stop. And he makes it sound so easy!

But if you watch the longer version of that speech above, you'll see that LeMieux's debut piece of legislation is part of a larger, grander Republican scheme:

If we trim the fraud from Medicare and Medicaid, then we don't have to bother with this expensive plan to reform the nation's health-care system.

Gosh, that seems awfully ambitious. Even if it was possible to eliminate health-care fraud completely, that savings would not be enough to make necessary improvements to the health-care system. So here's an idea: Let's just pretend we can eliminate health-care fraud. That'll give us the political cover to procrastinate fixing health care. And it will also allow senators like LeMieux -- not to mention his patron and hopeful successor, Charlie Crist -- to accept huge campaign contributions from health-care corporations who have something to lose from reforms.

Or wait -- maybe that's exactly what the LeMieux bill is trying to accomplish. If so, congratulations, Senator. You've proven to be a quick study in Beltway cynicism.

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Thomas Francis