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Get politicians out of the operating room

Posted: March 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported on a fraud investigation involving State Sen. Ron Calderon.

Michael Drobot pleaded guilty to paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to doctors so they would steer business to his hospital and use his spinal implants.

The report says in the past five years that 500 million in fraudulent bills were submitted. Senator Calderon is alleged to have accepted money to steer favorable legislation for Mr. Drobot.

As part of his guilty plea, Drobot has agreed to testify against the senator.

As a veteran of three spinal surgeries, I wonder how many of the patients were operated on unnecessarily or had their spines fused when a standard decompression would have worked.

Spinal surgery is not something that should be done casually. Even though the patient is under anesthesia, it is still an act of mayhem to alter a spine when it is for pure profit and not medically necessary.

To get treated under workers’ compensation is like having a second career if you require lifetime care.

It is a constant battle and there are many layers of bureaucracy between me and a simple bottle of pills; everyone along the way takes a cut.

We need to get the politicians out of the operating room and overhaul the workers’ compensation system so that those who need treatment get it and those who cheat the system do hard time.



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