...some of the bureaucrats all of the time, and thus (pace Bret Maverick's Ol' Pappy) the odds are pretty good you can defraud Medicare
The tool of the crime was the motorized wheelchair.
The wheelchair scam was designed to exploit blind spots in Medicare,
which often pays insurance claims without checking them first. Criminals
disguised themselves as medical-supply companies. They ginned up bogus
bills, saying they’d provided expensive wheelchairs to Medicare patients
— who, in reality, didn’t need wheelchairs at all. Then the scammers
asked Medicare to pay them back, so they could pocket the huge markup
that the government paid on each chair.
A lot of the time, Medicare was fooled. The government paid.
Since 1999, Medicare has spent $8.2 billion to procure power
wheelchairs and “scooters” for 2.7 million people. Today, the government
cannot even guess at how much of that money was paid out to scammers.
Oh, c'mon. Guess.
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