03/26/10 — 'Citizens' arrest': Want to spend less on health care? Take aim at the cheats first.

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'Citizens' arrest': Want to spend less on health care? Take aim at the cheats first.

Gov. Beverly Perdue actually has a good idea -- one that she should share with her fellow Democrats as they continue their work to reform health care.

The governor has decided to put a lot more emphasis on finding those who are cheating the Medicaid system.

The idea, of course, is to find those who are taking more than their share and who are not really in a position where they need government assistance.

It is too bad that someone did not think of this earlier. After all, if we could cut back on some of the money we are wasting for overpriced services and services provided to people who did not actually need them, perhaps our health care system would be functioning with much more efficiency.

But even though the call to arms is a little late, it sparks an idea of sorts for those who are tired of watching their hard-earned money slip down the drain.

Maybe what we need is a citizens' patrol.

If each of us filed a report every time we saw someone cheating on disability, calling an ambulance to be transported to the emergency room for a head cold or charging $2,000 for a $500 service -- or filing a claim for payment for services that were not rendered -- think of all the money we could save ... ourselves.

So while we will wait and see if Gov. Perdue's Medicaid fraud focus is really anything more than just more political hot air, perhaps we ought to consider launching some watchdogs of our own.

After all, who better to watch over our money than us? It is a job Washington has proven it can't handle.

Published in Editorials on March 26, 2010 10:47 AM