The case brought by the Department of Justice against Dr. Rene de los Rios of Miami, Florida, succeeded not only in sending the physician to jail for 20 years for systematically defrauding Medicare, but also in exposing the dark underside of the entire Medicare system itself. The sentence meted out by U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard was the second most severe sentence handed out to any doctor in South Florida, known as the “epicenter” of Medicare fraud. The dubious honor of the most severe sentence is held by Dr. Ana Alvarez-Jacinto, who was convicted of Medicare fraud in 2008 and is now serving 30 years behind bars.
Dr. de los Rios learned the Medicare scam from the owner of Metro Med, a medical clinic that specialized in HIV therapy. The owner, Damaris Oliva, who is serving his own seven-year sentence, learned the trade from three brothers — Carlos, Luis, and Jose Benitez — who owned 11 HIV clinics in the Miami-Dade area that specialized in HIV treatments and injections. The brothers billed Medicare $119 million and were reimbursed $84 million. To avoid prosecution, the brothers fled to the Dominican Republic and then to Cuba where, according to the FBI, they are in jail on immigration violations.
“3 arrested on raw-milk charges” read the headline. One could be forgiven for assuming the news source was the Soviet-era Pravda or the mouthpiece for some other tyrannical regime. What other kind of government would arrest people over moo juice? In fact, however, that headline appeared in the Los Angeles Times, which was reporting on a raid on a southern California business.
On August 3 three individuals were arrested in what NaturalNews.com is calling a “SWAT-style armed raid” carried out by “helmet-wearing, gun-carrying enforcement agents from the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).” James Stewart, proprietor of Rawesome Foods in Venice; Sharon Palmer, operator of Healthy Family Farms in Santa Paula; and Eugenie Bloch, employee of Healthy Family Farms, were charged with the heinous crime of selling unpasteurized (raw) milk without ponying up the cash for a government-issued license.
The Vancouver Coastal Health hospital is unveiling a pilot program, starting in October, that will permit healthcare workers to hand out “crack kits” to participants. Each kit will hold a clean, unused crack pipe, mouthpiece, filter, and condoms. The kits are estimated to cost around $50,000. Health officials say the goal of the program, scheduled to run for up to a full year, is to prevent the spread of Hepatitis C as well as other viruses.
The Vancouver Sun reports:
The intent is to connect health care workers with crack cocaine smokers to evaluate how many of the drug users are in the city and what equipment they need to lower their risk of catching diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV and even respiratory illnesses.
New health insurance requirements announced by the Obama administration on Monday will force health insurance plans to cover birth control and voluntary sterilization — with no co-pays — as preventive care for women. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service disclosed that the new guidelines, drafted by the Institute of Medicine, will take effect on or after August 1, 2012, and they are expected to apply to both individual and employer-based insurance plans.
The regulations will be imposed as an extension of the Affordable Care Act’s preventive-care measures. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated in a press release, “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.”
Give Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his fellow Republicans in the state legislature credit. When they say they aren’t going to implement ObamaCare, they mean it — even if it costs their state millions of dollars in federal grants.
“I don’t want to waste either federal money or state money on something that’s unconstitutional,” Scott told the New York Times in a recent interview.
Likewise, state Rep. Matt Hudson, Chairman of the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, said, “I do not believe that act is the right thing for the country or the right thing for Florida, and I am not going to start implementing things that I don’t believe in.”
The Gray Lady details the results of these officials’ principled stand against ObamaCare:
A report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for a sweeping overhaul of U.S. medical device regulation, challenging the FDA to broaden government oversight and enact stricter approval standards for thousands of devices — ranging from artificial hip and knee joints to bypass-surgery devices.
Originally commissioned by the FDA, the Institute of Medicine urged FDA officials last Friday to foster "a new framework that used both premarket clearance and improved postmarket surveillance of device performance to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of Class II devices." The IOM protests that premarket screenings are far too lax, as current standards neglect to provide a thorough examination of the safety and effectiveness of medical devices.
Those who predicted that ObamaCare would do nothing to reduce healthcare costs but would increase government control over healthcare have been vindicated by a new report from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary. According to the report, published in the journal Health Affairs, by 2020 the United States will be spending $4.6 trillion — nearly a fifth of the gross domestic product — on healthcare, almost half of which will come from government. What’s more, ObamaCare, far from reducing healthcare costs, will actually contribute significantly to the increase in spending.
The report begins by noting that 2009 and 2010 actually saw historically low growth rates (about four percent each year) in healthcare spending. The primary cause of the slowdown is the recession, which threw many people out of work, costing them their health insurance. Also, because of the weak economy, “many people continued to restrain their use of health care goods and services,” according to the report, so out-of-pocket costs did not climb as rapidly as before.
The Traditional Values Coalition has released the second installment of its investigation into grant-making by the National Institutes of Health. This time, TVC reveals that U.S. taxpayers pumped $90 million into “research” that included investigating AIDS in China, Chinese prostitutes, and a treatable parasite that infects one in every 1,000 Chinese.
A week ago, TVC exposed grantees who used NIH money to study whether the physical endowment of homosexuals affected their sexual satisfaction.
Now taxpayers get this news, as Congress and the President grapple about raising the debt ceiling and a few relatively small cuts in the federal budget that won’t come close to nicking the surface of the nation’s $14.5 trillion debt.
McDonald’s, and more specifically, the Happy Meal, continues to be a point of contention for those behind the nanny state. As a result, the Happy Meal has been targeted for a number of reforms. In San Francisco, for example, Happy Meals are no longer permitted to include toys so that they may be less enticing for young children. Now, a new McDonald’s policy will make Happy Meals healthier by cutting French fries orders in half and including fruit.
And though the changes have not been well-received by customers, McDonald’s plans to continue enforcing the policy.
Under the new policy, McDonald’s will be offering apple slices, half-portions of French fries, and healthier beverages such as one-percent milk and fat-free chocolate milk.
The Blaze contends McDonald's is kowtowing to political pressures:
This November, Ohio residents will have a chance to amend their state constitution to protect them from the central feature of ObamaCare, the individual mandate, and to prevent their state and local governments from enacting similar laws in the future.
The Associated Press reports: “Secretary of State Jon Husted determined that supporters of the amendment ... had gathered 427,000 valid signatures. They had submitted more than 546,000 and needed roughly 358,000 of them validated to make it on to the ballot.” Therefore, the proposed amendment will be placed on the ballot this fall.
The amendment was proposed by the Ohio Project, a conservative grassroots organization, and was drafted by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which describes itself as “a non-profit, non-partisan legal center dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government abuse.”