Church Ladies of the Left

Today I’m starting an intermittent series in which I intend to highlight particularly sanctimonious blog posts and essays about health care—the kind of moralizing that evokes images of the Church Lady leaning over her desk and asking, “Could it be (fill in appropriate Lefty demon)?? 

Today’s church lady is Maggie Mahar, whose latest post about the WellCare investigation laments the power of mammon in the stock market and in the health care industry. After providing a good deal of lurid detail about what the investigators seized in the Tampa raid, Mahar sniffs: 

Yet none of this seems to bother the analyst who upgraded the stock or the many investors who followed his upgrade–pushing the share price up 6.8 percent this morning.  

She further regrets that the Street’s indifference to sin will prevent the fire from fetching down to consume that den of iniquity known as WellCare: 

Its reputation will not be ruined on Wall Street because the Street doesn’t care about the ethics of what the company is doing; investors care about whether or not the company is making a profit.

In her righteous indignation, Mahar fails to mention that no actual charges have been filed against anyone related to the WellCare kerfuffle. But what do facts and fairness matter when the Church Lady has the chance to denounce a sinner?

Comments 8

  1. Marc Brown wrote:

    Are you seriously trying to claim that the healthcare industry has not defrauded the government out of several billion dollars in the last 10 years or so?

    Posted 21 Nov 2007 at 10:15 am
  2. Catron wrote:

    My point is really about Mahar’s sanctimony. However, I know of no evidence that “the healthcare industry” has defrauded the government.

    Occasionally, you get crooks in any industry (and the government itself is no stranger to corruption), but that doesn’t excuse her insinuation that the entire system is a giant gang of criminals.

    Posted 21 Nov 2007 at 11:24 am
  3. drmatt wrote:

    The USDOJ web site lists over 2,700 cases of health care fraud cases, most of which were brought against the health care industry, now you know of a few.

    Posted 21 Nov 2007 at 11:46 am
  4. Marc Brown wrote:

    ‘I know of no evidence that “the healthcare industry? has defrauded the government’

    You must lead a very sheltered life.

    ‘Fraudulent Medicare claims estimated at between $300 million and $400 million were prosecuted in just two South Florida counties in the past year’

    ‘There’s a nationwide crime epidemic going on that rakes in $35 billion or more each year.’

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15178883

    Posted 21 Nov 2007 at 11:58 am
  5. Catron wrote:

    Marc. Your article isn’t about fraudulent claims by “the health care industry.” It is about fraudulent claims by criminals and patients.

    Drmatt, you haven’t provided a link supporting your assertion, so I’ll ignore it until you produce some actual data.

    Posted 21 Nov 2007 at 1:44 pm
  6. drmatt wrote:

    http://searchjustice.usdoj.gov/search?q=health+care+fraud+cases&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=iso-8859-1&oe=UTF-8&client=default_frontend&proxystylesheet=default_frontend&site=default_collection

    Posted 21 Nov 2007 at 3:19 pm
  7. Catron wrote:

    This is ridiculous, drmatt. This just the number of hits you get on a particular search phrase. It’s like putting in “real UFOs” and claiming that the huge number of hits proves the existence of Martians.

    Posted 21 Nov 2007 at 4:01 pm
  8. Scott wrote:

    Carton-
    “My point is really about Mahar’s sanctimony. However, I know of no evidence that “the healthcare industry? has defrauded the government. ”

    I posted this link a couple days ago but I see it never reached the board.

    http://www.taf.org/total2007.htm

    There are a tiny number of cases that have nothing to do with healthcare; however most of the cases on this list (2007) are directly related to the “healthcare industry? defrauding the government.

    Posted 23 Nov 2007 at 12:22 pm

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