"During this COVID crisis, it becomes clearer than ever how precarious it is to have health insurance linked to someone's job," Representative Rick Larsen was told in a March 18th, 2020 video conference with Democratic precinct committee officers, "a public option or fixing the ACA wouldn't solve this problem since people are most vulnerable when they lost a job. With Medicare for All, everyone would get equitable healthcare regardless of employment status. Will you support Medicare for All, H.R. 676?"
"No, I support a public option," Rick answered. He continued, "expanding [the] ACA to include a public option and protecting the Affordable Care Act from attacks on this administration". This has been Rick's line for at least that last few years. In November 2017, the Snohomish County Democratic Socialists of America rallied outside Rick's Everett offices demanding he support Medicare for All. In response, they were given a letter—a canned response—supposedly explaining why he didn't support Medicare for All.
"I support the public option, and am a cosponsor of the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act," the letter explained, "Under this bill, the public option would operate alongside private insurance to provide consumers with more affordable and diverse health plans on the ACA's exchanges and stimulate competition [in] the insurance marketplace". The letter, nor any response from him or his office following this, have ever truly explained why Rick Larsen rejects Medicare for All.
Notice no reason is given for his opposition! Instead, he wants to talk about how much he loves the Affordable Care Act without ever acknowledging its severe deficiencies in an effort to make you believe he wants healthcare for all. Does Rick believe his vote for the Affordable Care Act, a healthcare reform bill first thought up by the Heritage Foundation, absolves him from any criticism from the left about not supporting universal coverage free at the point-of-service?
His loyalty to the private health insurance industry is purchased at the tune of $146,000. That's how much money in campaign contributions Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen has received from 17 different healthcare companies and PACs, including insurers, pharmaceuticals, and medical device manufacturers.
In 2008, Merck & Company contributed once for a total of $1,000 (💰) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Merck, Upsher-Smith to pay $60 million in 'pay-for-delay' drug case
"Merck & Co Inc and Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc have agreed to pay $60.2 million to resolve a lawsuit that said they entered into a deal to unlawfully delay the availability of generic versions of potassium supplement K-Dur." — Reuters: May 16, 2017
Merck to Settle U.S. Claims for $671 Million
"Merck will pay $671 million to settle claims it overcharged government health programs for four popular drugs and gave doctors fees and gifts to induce them to prescribe its drugs, federal prosecutors and company officials said Thursday.
The overcharges, dating back to the mid-1990s, involved Medicaid programs in all but one state and the District of Columbia, as well as federal health insurance programs at agencies including the Public Health Service and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs."— New York Times: February 8, 2008
In 2004, PacifiCare Health Systems, Inc. (acquired by UnitedHealth in 2005) contributed once for a total of $1,000 (💰) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Court rules against UnitedHealth Group on California fines
"[T]he court ruling this week paves the way for another court to affirm some $91 million in fines against PacifiCare [... The] California Department of Insurance in 2008 filed an enforcement action against PacifiCare, alleging the insurer engaged in multiple unfair claims settlement practices and other violations of the insurance code. Following a hearing, the insurance commissioner found PacifiCare engaged in over 900,000 acts and practices in violation of the code, and ultimately imposed more than $173 million in penalties."— Minneapolis Star Tribune: September 21, 2008
PacifiCare's massive Medicare Advantage fraud
"As a result of these unsupported diagnoses, PacifiCare received $224,388 in overpayments from [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services]. Based on our sample results, we estimated that PacifiCare was overpaid approximately $423,709,068 in CY 2007." — Physicians for a National Health Program: November 2012
In 2011 and 2012, Triwest Healthcare Alliance Corporation contributed twice for a total of $1,500 (💰💵) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Arizona-Based TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp. Agrees to Pay $10 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Concerning the TRICARE Program
"TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corporation, a contractor to TRICARE Management Activity, has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve civil false claims allegations, the Justice Department announced today. TRICARE is the U.S. medical benefit plan which covers uniformed personnel, retirees, their dependents and reserve components." — U.S. Department of Justice: September 9, 2011
Arizona-based VA contractor collected 'tens of millions' in over payments, federal audit says
"A Phoenix-based company that oversees about half of the private medical care for America's veterans is looking to extend its contract even as documents reveal it overbilled the government by tens of millions of dollars. [...] The VA Office of Inspector General recently reported to Congress that TriWest and another company, Health Net Federal Services — which oversees private VA care for the remainder of the nation — collected at least $89 million more than they should have, sometimes by billing the government at improper rates or collecting twice for the same treatment." — The Arizona Republic: November 13, 2017
In 2008 and 2009, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals contributed twice for a total of $2,000 (💰💰) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Wyeth and Pfizer Agree to Pay $784.6 Million to Resolve Lawsuit Alleging That Wyeth Underpaid Drug Rebates to Medicaid
"Wyeth knowingly reported to the government false and fraudulent prices on two of its proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs, Protonix Oral and Protonix IV. " — U.S. Department of Justice: April 27, 2016
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Agrees to Pay $490.9 Million for Marketing the Prescription Drug Rapamune for Unapproved Uses
"In 1999, Wyeth received approval from the FDA for Rapamune use in renal (kidney) transplant patients. However, the information alleges, Wyeth trained its national Rapamune sales force to promote the use of the drug in non-renal transplant patients. Wyeth provided the sales force with training materials regarding non-renal transplant use and trained them on how to use these materials in presentations to transplant physicians. Then, Wyeth encouraged sales force members, through financial incentives, to target all transplant patient populations to increase Rapamune sales." — U.S. Department of Justice: July 30, 2013
In 2016, UnitedHealth contributed once for a total of $2,500 (💰💰💵) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
U.S. can sue UnitedHealth in $1 billion Medicare case, judge rules
“More than one-third of Medicare recipients are in Advantage plans run by private insurers like UnitedHealth.
The lawsuit said UnitedHealth failed to repay the Medicare program by over $1.14 billion from 2011 to 2014.” — Reuters: February 13, 2018
In 2017 and 2019, Cerner Corporation contributed twice for a total of $4,500 (💰💰💰💰💵) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Cerner Agrees To Overtime Settlement But Wants Deal Kept Secret
"Like the lawsuits brought by Scott, the cases alleged that Cerner misclassified employees in order to avoid paying them overtime. The Cass County action, for example, alleged that Cerner violated Missouri’s minimum wage law by denying overtime payments to employees it describes as learning consultants." — KCUR, NPR Kansas City: June 28, 2018
Between 2006 and 2009, Medtronic Incorporated contributed four times for a total of $5,000 (💰💰💰💰💰) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Medtronic Inc. to Pay $2.8 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Related to "SubQ Stimulation" Procedures
"’[Medtronic was targeting] chronic pain patients with a medical procedure that lacks evidence of clinical efficacy wastes the country's health care resources.’ [...] Medtronic knowingly caused dozens of physicians located throughout more than 20 states to submit claims to Medicare and TRICARE for investigational medical procedures known as SubQ stimulation that were not reimbursable." — U.S. Department of Justice: February 6, 2015
Between 2015 and 2017, Abbott Laboratories contributed five times for a total of $5,500 (💰💰💰💰💰💵) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie Inc. to Pay $25 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations of Kickbacks and Off-Label Marketing of the Drug TriCor®
"Between 2006 and 2008, Abbott knowingly paid kickbacks to physicians in order to induce TriCor® prescriptions. Abbott, through its sales representatives, allegedly provided physicians with improper gift baskets, gift cards, and other items to induce prescriptions of TriCor®. Abbott also engaged health care providers for consulting services and speaking engagements, where one purpose of the remuneration for the programs was to induce or reward physicians for TriCor® prescriptions." —U.S. Department of Justice: October 26, 2018
Abbott Laboratories Pays $5.475 Million In Settlement Of Healthcare Fraud Case
"Allegations that Abbott Laboratories knowingly paid doctors to attend speaking engagements, conferences, and other academic activities, with the expectation that these physicians would then arrange for their affiliated hospitals to purchase Abbott’s carotid, biliary and peripheral vascular stents." — National Law Review: January 6, 2014
Between 2006 and 2014, Glaxosmithkline (formerly Smithkline Beecham Corporation) contributed six times for a total of $6,000 (💰💰💰💰💰💰) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
GlaxoSmithKline to Plead Guilty and Pay $3 Billion to Resolve Fraud Allegations and Failure to Report Safety Data
"The United States contends that GSK paid millions of dollars to doctors to speak at and attend meetings, sometimes at lavish resorts, at which the off-label uses of Wellbutrin were routinely promoted and also used sales representatives, sham advisory boards, and supposedly independent Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs to promote Wllbutrin for these unapproved uses." — U.S. Department of Justice: July 2, 2012
GlaxoSmithKline faces criminal investigation by Serious Fraud Office
"Britain's Serious Fraud Office has launched a formal criminal investigation into GlaxoSmithKline's sales practices, piling further pressure on the drugmaker which is already being investigated by Chinese authorities and elsewhere amid allegations of bribery. [...] GSK first faced accusations from Chinese authorities last July of funneling up to 3bn yuan (£285m) in bribes to encourage doctors to use its medicines [...] Since then allegations have surfaced in other countries. GSK is itself investigating claims that bribes were paid to doctors in Poland, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon." — The Guardian: May 28, 2014
Between 2010 and 2016, Pfizer Incorporated contributed five times for a total of $6,500 (💰💰💰💰💰💰💵) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Justice Department Announces Largest Health Care Fraud Settlement in Its History: Pfizer to Pay $2.3 Billion for Fraudulent Marketing
"’The size and seriousness of this resolution, including the huge criminal fine of $1.3 billion, reflect the seriousness and scope of Pfizer’s crimes,’ said Mike Loucks, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. ’Pfizer violated the law over an extensive time period. Furthermore, at the very same time Pfizer was in our office negotiating and resolving the allegations of criminal conduct by its then newly acquired subsidiary, Warner-Lambert, Pfizer was itself in its other operations violating those very same laws. Today’s enormous fine demonstrates that such blatant and continued disregard of the law will not be tolerated’" —U.S. Department of Justice: September 2, 2009
Drug Maker Pfizer Agrees to Pay $23.85 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Liability for Paying Kickbacks
"Pfizer used a foundation as a conduit to pay the copay obligations of Medicare patients taking three Pfizer drugs: Sutent and Inlyta, which both treat renal cell carcinoma, and Tikosyn, which treats arrhythmia in patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. The government alleged that, in order to generate revenue, and instead of giving Sutent and Inlyta to Medicare patients who met the financial qualifications of Pfizer’s existing free drug program, Pfizer used a third-party specialty pharmacy to transition certain patients to the foundation, which covered the patients’ Medicare copays. Pfizer allegedly made donations to the foundation to enable it to cover the copays of these patients and received confirmation from the foundation, via the specialty pharmacy, that the foundation funded the copays." —U.S. Department of Justice: May 24, 2018
Between 2007 and 2012, Baxter Healthcare Corporation contributed four times for a total of $7,000 (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Baxter International Investigated For Securities Fraud After Company Announces Internal Investigation
"Baxter engaged in certain intra-Company transactions undertaken for the purpose of generating foreign exchange gains or losses which were not booked in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. These intra-Company transactions allegedly resulted in certain misstatements in the Company’s previously reported non-operating income related to net foreign exchange gains." —Bloomberg: October 24, 2019
Big Pharma and Filthy Manufacturing Facilities
"Baxter is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. With 67 manufacturing plants and 48,000 employees, Baxter is one of the biggest manufacturers of sterile IV solutions. Last year the company was ordered to pay $18 million after a whistleblower stepped forward and said the company’s Marion, North Carolina ’clean room’ was anything but clean." —Mahany Law Firm: May 17, 2018
Between 2005 and 2011, BluePAC (affiliated with Regence Group) contributed seven times for a total of $7,500 (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💵) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee forms PAC for federal donations
"The letter includes suggested monthly contribution levels for managers, directors and vice presidents. The suggested amounts range from $10 to $50 per month for the newly created BluePac and $10 to $75 per month for TPAC. This is the first time the corporation has requested donations for BluePac, but it routinely solicits money for TPAC, Danielson said." —Chattanooga Times Free Press: February 12th, 2012
Between 2011 and 2015, Emergent Biosolutions contributed six times for a total of $11,500 (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💵) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Maryland pharmaceutical company buys maker of overdose reversal drug Narcan for $735 million
"Emergent Biosolutions will pay $735 million in cash and stock to acquire Adapt Pharma, the Dublin, Ireland-based maker of Narcan. Officials of the Maryland company said Narcan, the brand name for the nasal spray version of naloxone, fits into its business of developing and producing countermeasures for biological, chemical and infectious disease threats for government and other customers." —Baltimore Sun: August 29, 2018
Between 2006 and 2016, Cambia Health Solutions contributed four times for a total of $13,000 (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Lawsuit claims Regence BlueCross BlueShield no longer acting like nonprofit
"Lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Oregon nonprofit health insurer Regence BlueCross BlueShield, saying it is acting like a for-profit company by stockpiling excess funds that support large salaries rather than health care for policyholders.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, asks a judge to rule that Regence is not fulfilling the public-purpose clause of its own bylaws, and is failing to use its excess earnings for the benefit of its members.
Cambia Health Solutions, the parent company for Regence and its sister companies in Washington, Utah and Idaho, does not report total executive compensation that includes income from for-profit subsidiaries, making those figures difficult to ascertain. However, in 2012, Cambia CEO Mark Ganz told The Oregonian he earned $1.94 million." —The Oregonian: January 20, 2014
Between 2006 and 2019, Premera Blue Cross contributed eighteen times for a total of $34,000 (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Attorney General Ferguson's Investigation Into Premera Data Breach Results in Premera Paying $10 Million Over Failure to Protect Sensitive Data
"Premera Blue Cross, the largest health insurance company in the Pacific Northwest, will pay $10 million nationwide for failing to secure sensitive consumer data and for misleading consumers before and after a data breach affecting millions across the country. Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a coalition of 30 state attorneys general investigating the company’s practices." —Washington State Office of the Attorney General: June 11, 2019
Premera fraud inquiry detailed: Medicare claim handling could affect insurer status
"Federal prosecutors, government investigators and high-powered attorneys for a whistle-blower fired by Premera have combined forces to determine whether there was ’a deliberate attempt by Premera to conceal a festering problem from Medicare,’ according to court documents.
At issue is whether Premera incorrectly processed Medicare claims, then lied about it. No allegations of theft of federal dollars have surfaced. The question is whether Premera was so negligent that its actions constitute fraud.
It's Premera's job to screen each claim and make sure that Uncle Sam isn't footing the bill for a private insurer. One million dollars of its annual fee from the government is for such screening. But Premera let that responsibility slide. By its own admission in court documents, the company allowed the backlog of unexamined claims grow to 13,700 as of April 2001." —Seattle Post-Intelligencer: October 16, 2003
Between 2004 and 2018, McKesson Corporation contributed ten times for a total of $34,500 (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💵) to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen.
Former Officials of McKesson Charged With Financial Fraud
"Federal law-enforcement and regulatory agencies filed civil and criminal charges against three former top executives of McKesson HBOC Inc. following a joint investigation into what officials described as one of the largest cases of financial fraud by corporate managers." —Wall Street Journal: September 29, 2000
McKesson Agrees to Pay $960 Million in Fraud Suit
"HBOC [owned by McKesson] sold software or services to more than a dozen hospitals with conditional 'side letters' that allowed the hospitals to back out of the deals. The side letters were then hidden from auditors and the transactions were reported as sales." —New York Times: January 13, 2005
McKesson Corp. to Pay $18 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations Related to Shipping Services Provided Under Centers for Disease Control Vaccine Distribution Contract
"’Companies must comply with the requirements they agree to when they contract with the government to provide products that protect the public,’ said Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery for the Justice Department’s Civil Division. ’If a contractor does not adhere to the terms it negotiated, its conduct not only hurts taxpayers but also could jeopardize the integrity of products, like vaccines, that Americans count on to be safe.’" —U.S. Department of Justice: August 8, 2014
Can we trust Rick Larsen to fight for healthcare for all?
Can we trust him to take on the pharmaceutical industry who makes insulin unaffordable—while taking tens of thousands of dollars from them?
Can we trust him to take on the health insurance industry that seeks line the pockets of their shareholders with the profits made from our health—while taking tens of thousands of dollars from them?
Can we trust him to take on the medical device industry who often defraud Medicare and Medicaid, taking advantage of our senior citizens and working class families—while taking tens of thousands of dollars from them?