Monday, April 18, 2016

Lien Waivers Were Granted in 9/11 Claims


By Walter F. Roche Jr.

Officials of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have confirmed that lien waivers were granted for some victims and first responders from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, thus sparing them from having to repay the government for millions of dollars in medical bills.
Tony Salters, a spokesman for CMS, acknowledged the granting of 9/11 waivers in an email response Monday to a series of questions.
He wrote that waivers were granted for "first responders and other victims related to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City."
He said the waivers can be authorized on a discretionary basis under a provision of the Social Security Act which gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to grant waivers "in the best interests" of the program.
The waivers can be for all or a portion of the amounts sought by the agency for reimbursement of medical costs it paid for Medicare and Medicaid recipients.
Such a waiver already has been denied to victims of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak which sickened 778 patients across the country, killing 76 of them.
In response to a request from four members of Congress, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell early this year denied the waiver request, just days after it was submitted. The four members of Congress, including U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, had noted in their request that a waiver had been granted for 9/11 victims.
Salters said that notwithstanding the waiver denial negotiations over Medicare liens for the outbreak victims were ongoing with the agency represented in those talks by the U.S. Justice Department.
In a hearing last week in federal court in Boston, Fredric Ellis, who has been representing victims in those negotiations, reported substantial progress.
At issue is how much from a $200 million trust fund will actually go to victims of the outbreak and how much will go to the federal government and private insurance companies.
Some victims have argued that the federal government is in part responsible for the outbreak since federal regulators failed to shutdown the Massachusetts drug compounding firm that shipped fungus tainted drugs across the country. As a result, they argue, the federal government should waive any reimbursement claims
The now defunct New England Compounding Center was cited repeatedly by state and federal regulators  but allowed to keep operating until shortly after the deadly outbreak became public.
The trust fund was generated during the subsequent NECC bankruptcy with contributions from NECC's owners, insurance companies and other related parties. 
Salters said that absent a waiver, federal law requires CMS to seek reimbursement. 
"We understand that many NECC settlement recipients who are Medicare beneficiaries are concerned about their settlements. Medicare routinely works to make sure that, in similar situations, people with Medicare benefits are able to keep a portion of their settlement," he wrote.  
Contact:wfrochejr999@gmail.com 
 


14 comments:

  1. I understand that 9/11 was devastating but so was the fungal meningitis break out in 2012. A lot have suffered and continue to suffer but apparently not enough. 9/11 victims got their Medicare claims waived yet the victims here in Va have to pay back Medicare for their insurance coverage even though the fungal meningitis was a federal mistake. It could have been prevented had the federal government done their jobs when it came to NECC. Do I sound mad? Hell yes I'm mad why are we paying Medicare for a federal government mistake. We didn't asked to be injected with a deadly virus. Then on top of it all the whole thing has been dragged out for almost 4yrs now. Court was over with last May. Cmon people fight for what is yours not Medicares.

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  2. Same thing is happening here in Michigan. When a mistake happens due to lack of governmental oversight, whether state or federal, they should not be entitled to any portion of a settlement. They wouldn't be collecting anything had it not been for this lawsuit in the first place.

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  3. The government should be sued over this

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    1. What can we do? I swear I'm at the end of my rope with all of this. I wanna contact ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and anyone else I can think of. This is NOT fair to any of us.

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  4. I've been saying that since I was in the hospital.

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  5. I agree with all the above. I had private insurance through my employer as a benefit of mine. It is not a benefit if you have to give it back to them. Not only that my husband, who works for same eployer is paying a monthly premium for me to be on his plan, which is his benefit and they are denying payment to pain clinic because of subrogation. The laws are not for us little people!

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  6. FOLKS, DO WHAT I HAVE DONE, NAMELY CONTINUE TO WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE, NEWSPAPERS,TV, RADIO AND ANYONE ELSE WHOM YOU MAY KNOW WITH SOME CLOUT. PUSH, PUSH, PUSH. I WROTE SEVERAL LETTERS A FEW MONTHS AGO AND FEEL AS IF I GOT MY SENATORS IN TENNESSEE TO REACT. THEY ALMOST IMMEDIATELY CONTACTED CMS AND OPENED UP COMMUNICATIONS. SUGGEST YOU ALSO WRITE THE PRESIDENT AND ASK FOR HELP...

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  7. I have done all the above. It's called governmental immunity. Wether it is state or federal. We don't have a chance according to many attorneys. It's not right or fair but that's just how it is.

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  8. There's also something called federal tort act

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    1. Yes but it doesn't apply with this case.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Nathan TacyApril 21, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Its as if the victims are criminals and the criminals are the victims. Sickening, those who knew did nothing and they want and demand reimbursement.while the victims and the dead cry out for justice..There is no justice its so corrupt from greed.they dont mind punishing those that were injured.

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  11. FDA is a waste of tax dollars money they don't do there job.

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