Patterico's Pontifications

2/7/2013

Menendez Intervened on Melgen’s Behalf

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

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 — a close friend and major campaign donor — 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 government’s 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 Melgen’s billing for eye injections to treat macular degeneration, the senator’s aides said.

Those shoes, they keep dropping.

Wonder who his funders are.

36 Comments

  1. What? No railing against the rich liberal supporters?

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (951136) — 2/7/2013 @ 7:52 am

  2. Hey, let’s at least give Menendez some credit. Once bought he stays bought.

    Schumer and Frank would have already perp walked one of their rich buddies before a committee by now if they caused this much trouble. Just to provide cover for their prodigious tails.

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 8:10 am

  3. Well, it’s good to know that he is an all-around maggot.

    Comment by Icy (22d173) — 2/7/2013 @ 8:39 am

  4. only racists are pursuing this story.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 2/7/2013 @ 8:41 am

  5. 4. only racists are pursuing this story.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 2/7/2013 @ 8:41 am

    It’s like you know me.

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 8:47 am

  6. I suppose that in the “New Senator Familiarization Class”, they don’t teach about the Keating Five any longer.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 2/7/2013 @ 8:51 am

  7. a Florida eye doctor — a close friend and major campaign donor — had overbilled the government by $8.9 million for care at his clinic

    It’s good to know that Dr. Mengele Melgem wasn’t just ripping off the Dominicans by overcharging them for that port security contract.

    Which, bye the bye, Menendez also intervened on the doctor’s behalf to force the Dominicans to pay up after they balked once they figured out how badly they were getting fornicated.

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 8:52 am

  8. redc1c4, durn it!

    I just lost my job at Disney because you outed me.

    JWF – Grievance Theater: Black Family Sues Disney Over ‘Racist’ White Rabbit

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 8:58 am

  9. This is me pretending I’m shocked.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/7/2013 @ 9:04 am

  10. OT heads-up

    Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon ben carson at national prayer breakfast this morning schools the audience on numerous things,
    his talk was not previewed by the president’s people, apparently.
    includes criticism of political correctness, the national debt, and Obamacare-suggesting health savings accounts from birth that are transferable to descendents upon death

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/07/prayer-breakfast-speaker-praises-jesus-gets-political-calls-political-correctness-dangerous-hammers-fiscal-irresponsibility/

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/7/2013 @ 9:48 am

  11. Richard Fernandez over at Belmont Club opines on the Menendez fiasco:

    “Do You Know Who I Am”?

    Other reasons they give include:

    1. Menendez is the “lead Democratic Hispanic voice on immigration reform in the Senate”
    2. Top Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, are backing Menendez.
    3. His good buddy “Dr. Melgen and his family have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and committees, including $700,000 last year to Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC that spent nearly $600,000 on Menendez’s successful reelection campaign last year.”
    4. New Jersey is “a sophisticated electorate that is very focused on policy issues”.
    5. “Menendez has survived previous ethics controversies, which leads many in New Jersey to believe he will get through this one as well”.
    6. A Republican somewhere, sometime in the past must have also done it.

    I love reason number four. Like the “sophisticated electorate” of Massachusetts the voters of New Jersey aren’t about to let the moralists spoil their ride on the gravy train. And, really, isn’t one girl and an Oldsmobile a small price to pay for free health care? So, come on, what’s a little sex slavery amongst friends. We’re all sophisticates; every body lies about sex.

    And commits perjury and suborns perjury about sex. Because that’s what you have to lie about when you’re being sued for sexual harassment. There’s no point to lying about the weather in a sexual harassment trial.

    Someday, hopefully, the whole country will be as sophisticated as New Jersey and Massachusetts. Right now a congressman doesn’t have a prayer of getting reelected in Alabama if the voters find out there’s a gay prostitution ring operating out of his DC home.

    The heathens!

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 10:13 am

  12. he likes the young stuff

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 2/7/2013 @ 10:21 am

  13. I should add that Whoopi Goldberg tells me if you can make a movie like “Chinatown” it’s not really “rape rape” if you drug and violate a 14 year old girl.

    So if Menendez waited until these girls were 16 to exploit them he deserves a place in the liberal pantheon for demonstrating his restraint.

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 10:23 am

  14. Compromised and compliant, just the way they like their Senators.

    An old Scotsmen is sitting with a younger Scottish gentleman and says to the boy. “Ah, lad look out that window. You see that stone wall there, I built it with me own bare hands, placed every stone meself. But do they call me MacGregor the wall builder? No! He Takes a few sips of his beer then says, “Aye, and look out on that lake and eye that beautiful pier. I built it meself, laid every board and hammered each nail but do they call me MacGregor the pier builder? No!

    He continues…”And lad, you see that road? That too I build with me own bare hands. Laid every inch of pavement meself, but do they call MacGregor the road builder? No!”

    Again he returns to his beer for a few sips, then says, “Agh, but you screw one sheep…”

    Comment by mojo (8096f2) — 2/7/2013 @ 10:23 am

  15. Again he returns to his beer for a few sips, then says, “Agh, but you screw one sheep…”

    After watching Chuck Hagel’s performance before the Senate the other day, this is no longer a barrier to becoming Secretary of Defense.

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 10:34 am

  16. Or Senator from New Jersey.

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 10:36 am

  17. 10. Ha, “do not give a thought to yourselves or what you will say”.

    There is someone who knows to seize the moment. Thanks.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/7/2013 @ 10:38 am

  18. omment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/7/2013 @ 9:48 am

    I hope he’s circulating his CV.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 2/7/2013 @ 10:43 am

  19. Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/7/2013 @ 9:48 am

    Can you imagine some poor White House flunky who suggested that Dr. Carson be invited to address the prayer breakfast and is now probably being screamed at full-throated by David Axelrod? The poor flunky is probably saying, “But the doctor is African-American as well as an academic, so I just assumed that he would be fully supportive of our agenda. How was I supposed to know?”

    Racist.

    Comment by JVW (4826a9) — 2/7/2013 @ 11:03 am

  20. “The United States military is not and should not be a global 911 service capable of arriving on the scene within minutes to every possible contingency around the world,” Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    And really, what better way to drive that point home than to put a drooling idiot in charge?

    Speaking of drooling idiots:

    McCain interrupted, “You never heard of Ambassador Stevens’s repeated warnings?”

    “I had, through General Ham,” responded Dempsey, referring to the commander of AFRICOM. “But we never received a request for support from the State Department, which would have allowed us to put forces–”

    “So it’s the State Department’s fault?”

    “I’m not blaming the State Department,” Dempsey responded.

    Of course not. The guy in charge of the Army that couldn’t detect a motive as to why some Major with “Soldier of Allah” on his business card who shot up Fort Hood shouting “Allahu Akbar” and just chalked it up to generic “workplace violence” just can’t figure out who, if anyone, is to blame for Benghazi.

    Obama was right. It wasn’t terrorism. It was “workplace violence.”

    Defending sovereign US territory? Too hard!

    Best to spend time just doing busy work like integrating gays into the military.

    And why not put women into the infantry. I mean, if you’re not going to send them…

    It occurred to me that a country that has states that will make characters who’ve committed vehicular manslaughter or traffic in sex slavery into Senators is getting exactly the government it deserves.

    You almost can’t blame Dempsey for his transparent arse covering. I mean, Bob Menendez is going to hold him accountable?

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 11:11 am

  21. Boy, this 2013 crew of Ogabe’s recruits are going to have a sparse class picture.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/7/2013 @ 11:35 am

  22. gary, Princess Nan will just photo-shop it for him.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 2/7/2013 @ 12:05 pm

  23. I think Carson “walks the walk”, not just “talks the talk”. People with integrity seem to be pretty sparse in the Obama administration, maybe the person that picked Carson didn’t even know such people still existed.

    As far as his CV goes, Ben Carson is probably on the list of truly irreplaceable people, he is so good at what he does.
    Great life story, too, if not familiar with it, in both book and movie form. He was 1/2 inch away from being locked up as a juvenile for assault with a deadly weapon when his life turned around.

    re panetta- hopefully there is somewhere a mid-level officer personally privey to the events who considers his oath to uphold as reason to go to Congress to tell them what really happened, instead of what his/her superiors are saying.
    I think “Profiles in Courage” is what it is called, no matter who really wrote it.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/7/2013 @ 12:14 pm

  24. Sounds like maybe Panetta was coached by the same person as Clinton, when to throw out a loud comment of “righteous indignation” when the facts are only getting them in trouble.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/7/2013 @ 12:16 pm

  25. Yeah, Doc, where’s that VRWC when you need them.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 2/7/2013 @ 1:03 pm

  26. Racist.

    Comment by JVW

    no, that’s Steve57 8-)

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 2/7/2013 @ 1:23 pm

  27. “I had, through General Ham,” responded Dempsey, referring to the commander of AFRICOM. “But we never received a request for support from the State Department, which would have allowed us to put forces–”

    Steve57 – As I mentioned on the other thread, Hillary testified she was not aware of the warnings even though the cables were sent to State.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/7/2013 @ 1:56 pm

  28. daley, you’d probably have to turn over a lot of stones in DC before finding someone besides Hillary! who didn’t know about the warnings.

    Seriously, is anybody buying this act? The administration has obviously decided to quit even pretending they have any respect for anyone’s intelligence.

    And I can see why. Hillary!’s table pounding “what difference does it make moment” was completely nonsensical. After she declared that it was her’s and the Senate committee’s task to figure out what went wrong and why so it doesn’t happen again, in the next breath she declare it makes no difference at this point. Err, what happened and why.

    And the peanut gallery went wild with enthusiasm. I got the distinct impression that everyone in the MFM thought that confused utterance made her look presidential or something.

    I guess coherence is a bit much to expect from the crowd in Obama’s clown car of an administration.

    Comment by Steve57 (bc3ba2) — 2/7/2013 @ 2:18 pm

  29. When you have a press-spokeshole like Carney, how much respect can you have for other’s intelligence?

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 2/7/2013 @ 2:40 pm

  30. Meanwhile, let’s catch up on another congressional bad boy, shall we?—
    From SunTimes columnist Michael Sneed:

    Sneed has learned a plea deal is now on the table between former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and federal authorities probing allegations of campaign fund misuse.

    Sneed is told the plea deal includes Jackson serving time in federal prison.

    “Significant jail time is now definitely a part of the deal,” said a top Sneed source close to the probe.

    “But I think [Jackson’s wife] Sandi, feels like she was thrown under the bus by her husband, ” now that a separate probe has begun on her, a second source added.

    Sandi Jackson claims she was stunned by campaign finance abuse disclosures against her husband, who has been treated for mental disorders and allegedly spent $40,000 on a Rolex watch purchased with campaign funds.

    Don’t feel bad for Sandi. She’s not clean as a whistle either.

    Comment by elissa (adf165) — 2/7/2013 @ 2:50 pm

  31. I would say something about apples and trees, but what is dropping, and from whence it has dropped, are not quite prime-time material.
    Needless to say, the difference between Pere & Fils is that Pere has managed to slither out from under any criminal indictments, though I don’t doubt that along the way he’s earned one or two.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 2/7/2013 @ 3:02 pm

  32. askeptic–the following was left today on a comment thread elsewhere by someone calling himself or herself “anonymous”, so I can’t give proper credit. But I kind of got chills when I read it:

    In The Tudors, Brandon has Ann Bolyen’s father by the neck, pressed against the wall, and referring to his now beheaded children said, ” Was It All Worth It , Bolyen??!!” For some reason I think of Jesse Jackson Sr. when I see that powerful scene.

    Comment by elissa (adf165) — 2/7/2013 @ 3:10 pm

  33. Flexible standards with this fellow,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2013/02/07/sen-robert-menendez-and-the-mainstream-media-malfeasance/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/7/2013 @ 5:29 pm

  34. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/nyregion/port-deal-pushed-by-menendez-could-also-benefit-ex-aide.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/nyregion/investigators-say-menendez-intervened-on-friends-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/us/politics/menendez-discouraged-giving-port-security-equipment-to-dominicans.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all

    In a January e-mail exchange with Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Menendez’s staff did not mention Dr. Melgen or his company, Boarder Support Services, by name.

    But the aide asked if the United States government was planning to donate additional port security equipment to the Dominican Republic. The aide explained that if such a donation occurred, the Dominican government, perhaps under pressure from criminal elements there, might intentionally limit the use of the equipment so that drugs or other contraband could still flow through the country’s ports on the way to the United States.

    Only by hiring the unnamed private contractor, the e-mail said, could the United States be assured that port security in the Dominican Republic would be enhanced.

    “Apparently there are some efforts by individuals who do not want the increased security” in the Dominican Republic, the e-mail from Mr. Menendez’s office said

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 2/11/2013 @ 1:27 pm

  35. Middle URL should be:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/nyregion/investigators-say-menendez-intervened-on-friends-behalf.html

    Dr. Melgen has been in a dispute with Medicare officials over billing for a drug used to treat certain types of macular degeneration, which can cause loss of vision and damage to the retina. By getting several doses of the drug from a single vial, investigators said, Dr. Melgen was able to make the drug go further, and as a result, he was able to treat more patients and file more claims with Medicare.

    Thus, for example, Medicare might allow doctors to bill $2,000 for a vial, but the doctor sometimes filed claims for as much as $8,000, said the investigators, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry was continuing.

    While Medicare was trying to recover money from the doctor, the senator contacted federal officials and suggested that the agency was being unfair and needed to clarify its policy, the investigators said.

    Is Senator Menendez Melgren’s lawyer? And did Dr. Melgen actually treat two or three or even four patients per vial?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 2/11/2013 @ 1:30 pm

  36. The tale is even more complicated;

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/02/06/The-Corrupt-Origins-of-the-Melgen-Menendez-Dominican-Port-Security-Deal

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/11/2013 @ 1:32 pm

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