Bruce, I also express my sympathy and wish your wife the best recovery.Thanks for the info on Medicare checks.I have few comments though.I think insurance companies are taking advantage of us.In a free market with competition and choice, this would not be the case.Government will never be able to adequately replicate the good results of a thriving free marketplace - high quality, convenience and lower costs.But as to mental health, I think there may be more checks in Medicare than you or I know about (http://www.aafp.org/fpm/2000/1100/p15.html). My wife has had a stroke and was getting speech therapy, there were monthly reports filed on her progress, and it had to be renewed and her doctor had to say it was necessary. After the 10 visits, she did get an extension for 10 more visits but that was it. In the new year, she was able to do this again. Thus her treatment was not continuous. Her speech has declined since the last treatment. Of course, I don't really know if she would have improved with the treatment, but it did seem to help. I hope that if she has some serious problem she can tell me about it, but this is by no means certain.When I took physical therapy after my hip replacement, again reports on my progress had to be filed monthly and again it had to be renewed after which I was told I "graduated," although I could walk up stairs step after step (rather than one step at time with the strong leg) only with difficulty and holding onto a railing. Unfortunately I had a lot of muscle wasting in the leg before the operation.This sounds unnecessarily onerous and a great example of wasteful expensive inefficient government.Government is great at creating time-wasting paperwork. I recently had to spend 15 minutes completing paperwork and another 5 minutes on phone calls to transfer a patient from my community hospital ER to the VA. First of all, the transfer was only necessary due to a redundant parallel government VA system. Secondly, the time spent arranging this transfer delayed care for other sick ER patients. It all adds up in suffering, time and money. With more government involved due to Obamacare, I expect this to get worse with additional delays in care - more suffering and even greater mortality. In short, government literally tortures, maims and kills.And you can add the cost of the expensive "cab" ride to the VA in another city.The above is to show that there are checks in the Medicare system although I agree that Medicare gets ripped off. One doctor trimmed the scab on my wife's leg and filed it as surgery, for example. But it is not for lack of trying by Medicare to limit costs.Try as it might, it will predictably fail to limit fraud. Why? Because it is spending other people's money. It's basic human nature.The example you give is classic. In a freer market, this wouldn't even be an opportunity for fraud.The system is broken and Obamacare just doubles down on this broken system.dave
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