Friday, July 21, 2006

Schaaf continues to stand in the way of Medicaid reform

Talk about a conflict of interest.
Dr. Rob Schaaf, the Republican representative from St. Joseph, is again planting himself directly in the path of any effort to curb Medicaid fraud in Missouri.
According to the Associated Press, Schaaf says that doctors will simply stop taking Medicaid patients if the proposed reforms are passed. And he was the one who kept them from being passed during the 2006 legislative session.
Governor Matt Blunt has asked the General Assembly to deal with the issue during a special session:

"We have brought the issue of fraud in our social welfare system to the forefront of reform efforts. I have called on the Missouri House of Representatives previously to pass a tough Medicaid Provider Fraud Bill to combat Medicaid providers who cheat taxpayers. Today I am renewing that call."

You have to question the wisdom of putting a doctor in charge of this committee, even moreso when the doctor has received more than $10,000 in campaign contributions during the past six months from medical sources.
His contributions during the first three months of 2006 were outlined in the May 3 Turner Report.
The July disclosure form filed by "Friends of Rob Schaaf" with the Missouri Ethics Commission, shows the doctor received $6,300 in contributions, $5,150 of which came from medical sources, including $750 from three Joplin donors. Contributing $300 apiece were Hish Majzoub, physician, and Heart and Vascular Care, while Gary Randolph of St. John's chipped in with $150.
Dr. Schaaf was quick to support the governor on Medicaid cuts in the 2005 legislative session. Apparently, he is willing to everyone to sacrifice except those who can most afford to do so.

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