August 20

As one who is skeptical of Medicare’s ability to uncover and pursue fraud, I was dismayed by “A Medicare scheme that just kept rolling along” [front page, Aug. 17], which described the scam involving motorized wheelchairs paid for by public funds and given to individuals who may not have needed such devices. The sellers, particularly the Scooter Store based in Texas, were able to capitalize because of a six- to seven-fold markup on each device. I recall seeing Scooter Store commercials that would make the point that the device was absolutely free to patients and thinking that it had to be a scam.

Then, to boot, the article “A blood test can cost from $10 to $10,000” inside the same edition was particularly distressing. That discrepancy between hospital charges for the simple and frequently ordered lipid profile is gouging the public, to say the least. There is no justification for this.

It is no wonder the cost of medical care is so exorbitant here compared with other industrialized nations, and with very little to show for it.

George Smith, Frederick