February 21, 2013 by David K. Sutton
FBI Raids The Scooter Store
So you’re telling me The Scooter Store, the company advertising free scooters for everyone, was committing fraud? Say it ain’t so! — I always thought the promises in those commercials were suspect. Now we know why.
The Atlantic Wire — Approximately 150 federal and state law enforcement agents launched a massive raid on one of the biggest perpetrators of government fraud in America: The Scooter Store. Yes, that’s right. The nation’s largest provider of single-person electric vehicles and power chairs is the target of a federal investigation.
In January, CBS This Morning ran a cutting exposé on the company, detailing how it “railroads” doctors into prescribing the chair for their patients, most of whom are on Medicare or Medicaid. That way they can bill the government for their highly dubious medical device, while the patient gets a cool new scooter without paying for it, and The Scooter Store makes a nice profit.
This is one of those stories for which conservatives and liberals can find something to point to and say “I told ya so!”
Conservatives will say this is just another example of government fraud and it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars. — It’s proof that a single-payer health care system is ripe for this kind of abuse.
Liberals will say this is an example of a private company strong-arming citizens, doctors, and the government, to make a buck. — It’s proof that we need tighter regulations and more oversight to avoid fraud and abuse.
I say it appears this company was designed to extract as much money from the government as possible without getting caught. Yes, there will always be people (and companies) who will abuse the system, and nothing will ever change that. We may never know, but it’s possible most people who received scooters likely had sound medical reasons. And while I could allow my cynicism to make a commentary on unhealthy lifestyles and just blame people for being too lazy, that would be too simple. I can’t declare that I know how each person has lived their life, making a diagnosis from afar. But what I can say is this, if the allegations are true, then The Scooter Store and it’s executives should receive harsh punishment. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a bigger problem, it just shows that greed is alive and well.