“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is a movie about a really messed up little post-apocalyptic country in which the dominant city takes a feudal approach to economic management.
The dominant city makes the other cities send it raw materials, then cracks down when the other cities object.
One of the creepiest scenes in the movie occurs early on, when the government punishes an uppity city by sending in police to destroy the city’s black market. The black marketers are breaking their country’s law but see themselves as just buying and selling goods people need, not doing anyone any harm that they understand to be harm.
That scene came to mind as I was looking at the boring, confusing written testimony for the Medicare fraud hearing the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee held Tuesday.
So, on the one hand, I was thinking about trying to cover the term, because the term “fraud” sounded interesting.
Then, on the other hand, I read the written testimony and realize that a lot of the allegations were really about obnoxious but rational providers trying to get around well-intentioned but complicated, counterintuitive, hard- or impossible-to-enforce regulations.
Medicare Advantage plans, for example, have to go through a complicated opinion letter process just to get official permission to do logical things like encouraging enrollees to see in-network providers.