KIRSTERS BAISH| The healthcare system in America needs some serious work, that’s nothing new. Recently over 400 people were charged with being a part of a health care fraud and opioid scams. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that all of the scams together totaled $1.3 billion in false billing.

Attorney General Sessions named the collective scams the “largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history.” He stated that the biggest issue with the whole mess, is that doctors, nurses, and pharmacists “have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients.” This is a huge problem. Doctors take an oath to do their best to help every single patient they see, and by being a part of this scam, they were putting the lives of their patients in danger. This is the problem with America today, people are putting money before human life.

Six of those being charged are Michigan doctors who are being accused of a scheme in which they prescribed opioids to patients who reportedly did not need them. That’s not even the raunchiest part of the whole thing. A rehabilitation center in Florida is being charged for bribing addicts with gift cards and strip club outings, which lead to $58 million in fabricated treatments and tests.

Those investigating the scandal explained that those being charged include over 120 people who illegally prescribed and distributed prescription narcotic painkillers inappropriately. This is exactly what doctors take the oath to NOT do. They are feeding the huge opioid epidemic in our country, not helping it. Over 52,000 Americans were the victims of fatal drug overdoses in 2015. This is a record for the United States. Not exactly the type of records we are trying to break. When doctors make it that easy to obtain prescription pain killers to those who do not need them, they are encouraging addicts to feed into their habits. They are purposely helping to support the big pharmaceutical companies, because they are all milking the same cash cow.

FBI director Andrew McCabe stated, “in some cases, we had addicts packed into standing-room-only waiting rooms waiting for these prescriptions. They are a death sentence, plain and simple.”

On top of that, Sessions claimed that about 300 health care providers have been suspended or banned all together from even participating in federal health care programs because of the scams. He explained, “they seem oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their greed. Their actions not only enrich themselves, often at the expense of taxpayers, but also feed addictions and cause addictions to start.”

Just like this health care fraud investigation, each year many more sweeps happen all over the country. The biggest issue is that officials don’t know how to prevent the scams from happening.

The idiots being charged were actually billing health insurance programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and even the programs that serve the armed forces, and retired military members and their families. The Justice Department also stated that the charges include billing the programs for unnecessary drugs. These drugs were never even purchased or distributed to patients.

With all of the issues present with our current health care system, this type of crap makes everything ten times worse. We need to figure out a way to stop healthcare providers from being able to perform these types of scams, which is extremely sad. The fact that we can’t even trust our healthcare providers is a big issue. It’s time to take our healthcare out of the hands of big pharma & big government.