posted on October 05, 2010 13:09
A few years ago Secretary Lanier Cansler’s Department decided to ‘reform’ care for the mentally ill and when they finished the state’s mental hospitals were in a shambles and schizophrenics were being handcuffed to beds in Emergency Rooms in local hospitals because the state had nowhere to care for them.
Next Cansler’s Department decided to ‘reform’ in-home medical care for Medicaid patients, and, now, if you’re old and infirm and your doctor says you need in home care – say because you’re recovering from a hospital stay – you’d better be able to hold on for awhile.
The problem all started with a little white lie Cansler told legislators: He promised, during the first budget crunch, he could cut home care’s budget 45% (because, he said, 45% of the patients were cheats).
But, he added, to do it he needed one favor. He needed to give out a no bid state contract.
Legislators gave Cansler the green-light and CCME Corporation, one of Cansler’s clients from his days as a lobbyist, got a $25 million contract from Cansler’s department. (And every month since, Cansler has gotten a payment from his former lobbying firm, which now represents CCME.)
Next Cansler’s aides went to work pouring medical records and patients files into computers and analyzing and processing and when they were done they pressed a button to print out a report that would tell them who the cheats were – only when the report came out of the computer there was a glitch: It said only 3% of the patients were cheats – not 45%
Well, after he’d given a $25 million contract to cut cheats, Cansler couldn’t very well go back to the legislature and say, I made a mistake and can only cut a handful of people – so he proceeded to cut care to real patients.
Only he ran head on into a problem.
To be continued…..
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