Drug Testing for Welfare recipents

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Killer Joe, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. turgy22 Nothing Special

    There's a difference between democracy and "majority rules." The people of the United States do not write and vote on individual laws. We also have courts in place to ensure that every law is fair and offers everyone equal rights.
  2. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Laws fair? Courts are presided over by judges, who are human. They try (I guess) to follow legal precedence, but that's different from deciding what's "fair". 'Cause if that's the case, there wouldn't be an issue over gay marriages having equal rights with hetero marriages (as one example).
  3. EricBess Active Member

    You know, I'm not a smoker and I would prefer people not smoke, but I understand that smokers should have the right to do so in a reasonable manner that doesn't affect me. I agree that the majority should not simply "dictate" their will upon the minority, but I think that it is also important to realize that people will vote on what they feel is correct, not just on what benefits them the most. Okay, clearly some people will just vote for what benefits themselves the most, but if the majority of society did that, we would be in a very corrupt and selfish society and the laws themselves would be the least of our problem (hopefully we haven't gotten to that point yet).

    "Fairness" isn't the only issue and I think that we go way too far in trying to dictate what is "fair" and what is good for society. Where was it I saw something the other day where a girl complained to her father that something wasn't "fair" and his response was that she was correct. We basically went on to tell her that it wasn't "fair" that she lived in a wealthy nation and had all sorts of "stuff" while other people didn't and that she should be praying that things don't suddenly become fair. Point is, we get so wrapped up in wanting to make sure that everyone has the same stuff that we lose focus of what is right. The bottom line is that some things are going to be unfair and the more we expect government to try to mitigate that, the worse we will all be.

    Spidey - you bring up gay marriage and that is a completely separate issue. I'm all for gay couples having the same legal rights as married couples, but only because I don't believe governments should dictate moral values. However, "marriage" is a very sacred principle and no matter you call a gay couple, they can never have eternal acceptance, which is what they are hoping for by calling their union a "marriage". I would vote for any law that grants a gay couple the same legal right that a married couple already has, but I will never vote for any law that would label their union a "marriage". This because I respect their right to live their lifestyle, but I can never accept it as moral.
  4. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    The answer to that question is "sometimes." I know that's vague, but there's a good reason: cancer isn't just one thing. It's an umbrella term for cases of rampant cell division that have certain properties. But other than the properties that make something "cancer" it may have virtually nothing in common with another case of "cancer." Unsurprisingly, science has developed a better understanding of some cancers than others. Hence, the whole field of oncology.
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    EricBess: I know we all went over it in the gay marriage thread :) But as long as the legal rights are tied to marriage, that's what's needed to be legalized. But I think the proponents are working on both angles: legalizing gay marriage *and* getting the legal rights afforded as if it were a marriage.
  6. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

  7. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Why shouldn't we have a national language?
    Is that against our constitution? I don't think so.
  8. train The Wildcard!!!...

    A national language is not against the constitution.

    On the medicare scam - I wonder how many of them do drugs... ;)

    But - its that same example that says we are too complex to catch these things sooner, and need to simplify.
  9. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, it doesn't say how long the investigation took, just that it started when a bunch of SSNs were reported stolen, but I imagine it was pretty quick since one of the charges/indictments mention an incident from last year. So I think it was "sooner"...
  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I tried to look up "national language" and it sure looks like it's just a generic term that can have various meanings, but it seems to have no legal meaning in the United States, so yeah...
  11. EricBess Active Member

    Another rant about government healthcare. When there is fraud affecting a private company, they may end up having to pass the cost along to the consumer to stay in business. If they get too expensive then competition will put them out of business anyway. If the industry is known for fraud, therefore, there is a huge incentive to invest in simplification, security, and detection.

    On the other hand, if the business is run by the government and paid for by taxes, they simply raise the cost by raising taxes. Now, I'm not saying that they don't have methods to detect fraud and the government certainly has incentive to put procedures into place that reduce the fraud, but the incentives aren't the same and therefore, they are not as likely to innovate and come up with ways to avoid things like this happening.

    I don't know the details of this particular case so it is possible that someone was right on top of this and stopped it while at a reasonable level. Personally, $163 million seems like a very lot of money to me, so I can't help but think that a private company would have stopped this before it got this far (or gone out of business). We are talking a national level, so this might have actually been an an efficient catch for all I know.
  12. train The Wildcard!!!...

    When a claim doesn't immediately "catch" the professionals providing services that have nothing to do with their office - there is no efficiency. I feel this can easily be achieved, especially with so many claims being reported electronically now.

    Length of time to catch, maybe.
  13. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    It doesn't do much good to immediately catch the "pros" at the first incident when you have no idea how big it is. If they did that, then the headline might read "Medicare fraud caught at $1 million" or such (which isn't a piddling amount, but only about 1% of the total). Obviously they had to investigate and see how widespread it was. That's with any crime.

    As for a private company catching it, maybe, but look at the big headliners these past couple of years... there have been a couple of rogue traders who traded millions to maybe a couple billion of their company's money and weren't caught right away and in fact, did bring the company down (I want to say one is Bearn something or other, but not positive. One was British, I'm pretty sure). On a smaller and local scale, there's plenty of cases in the news about people stealing from the company and not caught right away (as in, for several years). So there's no guarantee that a private company will catch fraud right away either.
  14. train The Wildcard!!!...

    Well - I wasn't meaning the company as much, as I was meaning the "applications or programs"... i think a simple computer app could spit out tons of red flags when services provided don't match the providers specialty, office, etc. I mean, credentials, etc. - missing?

    Have a field agent check each office when they apply to be a Medicare/Medicaid provider, and not just look at text on an application.
  15. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    True. But that still doesn't cover the scope of the fraud. I imagine it's not being done in one office/area, so the affected offices/areas need to match up such "red flags", see if they're related, etc. Then they probably have to get warrants to wiretap, etc. It's not going to be done in a day or even a week/month.
  16. EricBess Active Member

    I'm all for catching them before they become pros and never having anyone achieve that level. Obviously, no matter how good you make the system, someone is probably going to find a way to manipulate it, thus becoming "pro", but I hope you aren't saying that they shouldn't even bother trying to stop the little guys.

    My point has nothing to do with guarentees. It has to do with incentives. If a business doesn't catch the fraud in time, they go out of business. As such, there is a huge incentive to catch the fraud as quickly as possible. If the government doesn't catch the fraud in time, they raise taxes to cover it. The only incentive to catch the fraud is to avoid political fallout (which is also accomplished by the fraud never coming to light) or to be able to show what a great job you've done in "stopping it".
  17. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'm not saying that at all. But what I am saying is that for every little guy, there's a big guy. If you always focus on catching the little guys, you never catch the big guys. You wait long enough for the little guys to lead you to the big guys.

    The former is a given; of course businesses want to stay in business. I am just saying that it doesn't matter whether it's private or government - someone will "slip through the cracks" and beat the system long enough to run up a high fraud.

    And the latter isn't true; Medicare taxes haven't been raised in a long time, despite the fraud that is ongoing with that program. I think the last time they were raised was in the 80's (I'm talking raising taxes specifically to cover Medicare shortfalls, not general tax raises that occur across the board). And indeed, that's one of the reasons why Social Security is projected to take in a negative income flow in 20 years or so.
  18. EricBess Active Member

    Medicare is bankrupt and getting more and more expensive every year. Social Security likewise. Medicare is set up to pay doctors less each year. So far they keep passing what they call the "doctor's fix", which is basically postponing the cuts for another year. How long will they be able to keep that up?

    Regardless, whether or not taxes have or have not been raised as a results of Medicare fraud is irrelevant to a discussion about incentives to eliminate fraud. All that adds is the implication that they so far may have done a decent job dispite the lack of incentives. Given how far in debt Medicare is, I'm not sure you can even make that argument, though.
  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    It's not irrelevant when you say

    Fraud has been happening in Medicare for a long time (perhaps one of the reasons it's bankrupt) yet no taxes have been raised. *That's* the point I was trying to make, that your statement does not hold true.

    Unless you can point to a program where fraud has occurred in the government and taxes has been raised to cover it.
  20. EricBess Active Member

    The government only has one method to raise revenue and that is taxation. You object to my phrasing that they "raise taxes". Perhaps I should rephrase.

    "If the government doesn't catch fraud in time, the burden of that fraud is passed onto the taxpayer."

    Look at it this way - if they government hasn't had to "increase taxes", then they have either had to cut back on services or they would have had a surplus.

    The program is bankrupt. I don't know how they are continuing to pay for a bankrupt program. If they are diverting funds from other areas and then increasing taxes in those other areas, then how is that any different? If they should have a surplus, but don't, then at some point, they will have no choice but to increase taxes or to monitize the debt, which hits taxpayers in the form of inflation.

Share This Page