Last week, the FBI, Inspector General, and Texas State troopers raided The SCOOTER Store's corporate offices.
The government says that the SCOOTER Store falsely took money from Medicare for years by encouraging false prescriptions and overcharging.
On my FBN show, I reported how tax dollars are used to supply $3,000 power chairs to people for free or at minimal cost. In 2012, 170,000 people took advantage of this steal... ah, deal. Taxpayers paid $700 million.
A former employee, Brian Setzer, told CBS that The SCOOTER Store pressures doctors into writing prescriptions for chairs... even if patients don't need it. He said the SCOOTER Store's policy is: "Bulldoze and get them to get the paperwork done."
Three other employees said the store ranked doctors based on who prescribes chairs the most. When doctors don't prescribe, employees are encouraged to harass the doctors until they give in.
The result: lots of people got expensive power chairs that they didn't need. You pay for them.
The Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services knew about this in 2011.
"A total of 80 percent of claims for power wheelchairs did not meet Medicare coverage requirements and should not have been paid by Medicare."
"Medicare and its beneficiaries paid four times the average amount paid by suppliers for standard power wheelchairs."
From 2009-2012, the Inspector General says Medicare overpaid The SCOOTER Store as much as $108 million.
Paul Krugman raves about the "efficiency" of Medicare and today he praises the "highly successful" Medicaid program and its "lower administrative costs." But one reason why Medicare and Medicaid have lower administrative costs is that they rarely police cheating.
The SCOOTER Store's activities were not secret. Yet it was two years after the Inspector General's report and a year after my show, before the government finally stepped in.
I'm glad that they will finally investigate the SCOOTER Store.
But who will investigate Medicare?