You’re paying for $7,000 power chairs for people who don’t need them…

February 24, 2013

So I am aware of a person who claims to have gotten a free power chair through Medi-Cal (California’s version of Medicaid) and this person says the price tag (paid by us working folks via our taxes) was $7,000.

Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating the Scooter Store company for fraud, over billing and pressuring doctors by harassing phone calls to prescribe scooters and power chairs for patients who could get along without them.

The Scooter Store guarantees to qualify people for the scooters and chairs.

I think it would be pretty easy to get a handle on how much that’s costing us taxpayers:

Just multiply the number of Walmarts times, say 50 percent of their customers, times $7,000 (at least). I mean have you been to Walmart recently? It seems half the people there are zipping around on scooters or power chairs (and I am not talking on the ones the store supplies customers as a courtesy when they shop, although that too).

I would be the last person to begrudge such a device to those who truly need them. I even get concerned for myself. I have neuropathy in my feet that if it got worse I might not be able to walk — but thankfully it has not.

But I have a strong suspicion that a lot of those people just need to get up off their lazy backsides and walk.

I guess part of the fraud suspected with the Scooter Store is that some people may be getting the scooters and then selling them.

Along the same lines, airport personnel report that some people get wheelchair service to get to the front of the line and then have a miracle that lets them walk (or run) again when the plane arrives.

My mother is 102, and although she uses a walker or a wheelchair these days, she usually gets around by her own power, not motorized stuff. She even pedals around in an adult-sized  tricycle sometimes.

The older generations tend to have a little more stamina and self initiative I think.

But seriously, this scooter thing may not be the worst fraud in government spending, but it certainly is a biggie. And it is shameful to all involved in the fraud.