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Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Fraud is the real culprit

Posted: July 21, 2009 8:40 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

A recent front-page story in The Signal (“Mom challenges disability cuts,” July 15) highlighted a young man with a disabling neurological condition and his mother, LeeAnn Holmes, who cares for him.

The point of the article was to criticize the California Legislature and especially Republican Senator George Runner for reducing the young man’s disability payments.

The young man is fortunate to have a loving caregiver.

However, even though I hold the Legislature in complete contempt, I don’t think this is their fault. There simply is no more money to pass out.

In my opinion, the real perpetrators were not mentioned.

The magnitude of fraud in disability programs is truly staggering.

Anyone with modest “people skills” and an exaggerated sense of entitlement can get significant payments from a number of programs.

This is facilitated by unscrupulous physicians and attorneys who collude in fraud for a cut in the take, government workers who feel that they are making the system “fair” by handing out other people’s money, government oversight agencies that quantitate success in dollars spent and politicians who trade benefits for votes.

Mostly, I think it is related to a lack of shame.

Today, we can no more criticize an able-bodied person on disability than we can criticize a pregnant teenager.

This causes relatively ordinary people to think, “If the government is handing out money, I’m getting my share.”

Next time you see a “100 percent disabled” person heading off on a cruise, taking a trip to Las Vegas for some gambling, buying another income property or contracting for an expensive kitchen remodel, think of the young man and his mother.

If we are going to take care of people like this young man in the future, we need to rethink and revise our concept of “entitled.”  

 

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