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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:38 PM

Sen. Menendez contacted top officials in friendís Medicare dispute

Source: Washington Post

Sen. Robert Menendez raised concerns with top federal health-care officials twice in recent years about their finding that a Florida eye doctor ó a close friend and major campaign donor ó had overbilled the government by $8.9 million for care at his clinic, Menendez aides said Wednesday.

Menendez (D-N.J.) initially contacted federal officials in 2009 about the governmentís audit of Salomon Melgen, complaining to the director overseeing Medicare payments that it was unfair to penalize the doctor because the billing rules were ambiguous, the aides said.

Last year, in a meeting with the acting administrator of the agency in charge of Medicare and Medicaid, Menendez again questioned whether federal auditors had been fair in their assessment of Melgenís billing for eye injections to treat macular degeneration, the senatorís aides said.

The agency had ordered Melgen to repay the $8.9 million, and at the time of both conversations, Melgenís appeal was pending. That appeal is unresolved.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sen-menendez-contacted-top-officials-in-friends-medicare-dispute/2013/02/06/e01bf928-6fd4-11e2-aa58-243de81040ba_singlePage.html

15 replies, 2121 views

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:50 PM

1. That's some bad stuff, there.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:14 PM

3. Is it?

 

I mean, it's bad, but are all of the Senators basically just as guilty and for some reason someone has it out for Menendez?

Anyway, I wish we could be more like Finaland and put aside partisanship and boot every single politician that does anything even slightly wrong.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:31 PM

15. It is bad

There ARE more Congressmen and Senators that have problems, though this is more blatant than most. I think this is partly caused by the need to raise huge sums of money to run for office. Menendez is not rich nor was he surrounded by rich friends. I would conjecture the favors may have started relatively innocently because he was a friend and donor. However, if this story and others are true, it is a problem.

I agree with you that we should not allow these actions. However, "slightly wrong" if the list is not clear and existing before the action was done, could lead to targeting people for partisan, political reasons.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:54 PM

9. Are your refering to the actions of the senator or what the doctor was accused of doing?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:37 AM

11. Both sound like crooks right now, pending appeal results.

Last edited Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:41 AM - Edit history (1)

I suppose it's possible the pending appeal will show doc is not at fault - the rules aren't always clear. In which case, I suppose it's good someone went to bat for him. Right now, it doesn't sound good for either one.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:03 PM

2. I'm wondering how much more there is that we don't know about him

and why and how the information is coming out now.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:17 PM

4. I'm wondering how much more there is that we don't know about most of them

We no longer have real representatives, all we have left are second rate actors who couldnt even get a job on a soap opera.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:44 PM

5. May I steal

that comment? Love it.

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Response to 840high (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:52 PM

8. Anytime

Thanks.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:47 PM

7. Yes, sadly a great deal of them are dirty in one way or another

Whether it be financial dealings or something to do with a prostitute or a mistress.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:45 PM

6. Menendez will be jettisoned by Ds.

The problem is not the prostitutes. The problem is influence peddling, and there are some other nervous senators who would rather not have Dr. Melgen's connections investigated any further.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:20 AM

10. Doctor Certainly Sounds Ripe, Sir....

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:39 AM

12. I do not understand the problem. When I have problems with a government agency I contact my

congress person and they contact the agency. Is it wrong if one of those congress persons is my friend?

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Response to jwirr (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:41 PM

13. The doctor was a major campaign donor.

So it is controversial because Menendez may be trying to abuse his power beyond constituent services...and the doctor lives in another state!

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Response to alp227 (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:20 PM

14. Okay, I would have to go a long way to called a major campaign donor. That is a problem.

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