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We Must Stop the Rampant Fraud in the Health Care Industry

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In 2004, Warner-Lambert, a division of Pfizer Inc., pled guilty to two felonies and agreed to pay $430 million for fraudulently promoting the drug Neurontin.

 

In 2003, GlaxoSmithKline paid $88 million in civil fines for overcharging Medicaid for its anti-depressant Paxil.

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In 1999, Hoffmann-LaRoche paid a $500 million criminal fine for leading a worldwide conspiracy to fix prices for certain vitamins.

 

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In 2009, UnitedHealth, a leading insurance company, paid $350 million to settle lawsuits brought by the American Medical Association and other physician groups for shortchanging consumers and physicians for medical services outside its preferred network.

 

In 2009, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services barred WellPoint, a major insurance company, from participating in Medicare Part D because WellPoint has "demonstrated a longstanding and persistent failure to comply with CMS's requirements for proper administration..."  

 

In 2000, the Hospital Corporation of America agreed to pay $745 million to settle civil charges that it systematically defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other federally-funded health programs.

 

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It is absolutely imperative that real health care reform prevent major insurance companies, drug companies and hospital chains from perpetrating fraud and abuse on government health care programs and individuals, which are driving up health care costs in this country by billions of dollars every single year.

 

To me, the evidence is overwhelming that we must end the for-profit private insurance company domination of health care in our country and move toward a publicly-funded, single-payer Medicare for All system.

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Bernie Sanders is the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. He is a member of the Senate's Budget, Veterans, Environment, Energy, and H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, (more...)
 

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