Abuse of the Elderly

August 17, 2009

Recently, there has been much talk of the 80 billion dollar deal cut by the Obama administration with the pharmaceutical companies. The deal, undoubtedly, includes rebates and reduction of costs for Medicare patients who have reached the infamous “doughnut hole.” The truth of the matter is that either through feigned or simple stupidity, the White House will be getting even less than they already have.

As a physician, I have been discussing pharmaceutical issues with drug representatives for almost thirty years. The fact is that numerous drug companies, with very high priced products, end up giving away almost 75% of their product: First through indigent programs to uninsured patients making less than, say, 15,000 dollars a year; Second, many companies already give free products to seniors, making less than 15,000 dollars a year, after they have reached their “doughnut hole.” Now, they have, somehow, snookered the government and “The People,” into paying for something they were already receiving “for free!” Most importantly, the issue of Competitive Bidding is now completely off the table! Voila! What Medicare fraud?

The actual and simple question of Medicare Fraud is made more and more complicated by Eric Holder, impotent and unqualified Attorney General, by focusing on a few corrupt physicians and clinics in Miami and Detroit and purposely avoiding Washington, D.C. Obviously, if President Obama wants any sort of government health option, he must first fumigate the original government health option, Medicare, as well as Social Security. There is no Competitive Bidding in any agency of Medicare- leading to estimated overpayments of at least 70-110 billion dollars per year. The Social Security Surplus- multiple hundreds of billions of dollars, earmarked for Seniors and retirees, has been and still is being stolen to provide funds for useless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is time to demand equal treatment for Seniors. It is time to honor and protect their right to due process. Denial by the American Bar Association and the United States Supreme Court, that “due process” even exists, is no excuse to violate the principle. The Constitution itself outlines “due process!” It is due process. It is time for seniors to petition the government for fair treatment.

I, for one, am ashamed of my Medical Association, as well as the AMA, the National Nursing and PA Associations, the Democratic and Republican Parties and especially the Press for ignoring this issue for so many years. If it takes practitioners like myself, despite legitimate fear of government reprisal, to mobilize their patients in protest, so be it!!!

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.