June 27, 2016 - Joe Eaton

June 27, 2016
Joe Eaton


Willie Sutton got to be the best-known bank-robber in America the old-fashioned way, by robbing, getting caught and jailed from the 1920s into the 70s, and the new fashioned way, by trademarking a very smart remark and becoming a celebrity. Why rob banks? he was asked, because “that’s where the money is.”

Today, guys as smart as Sutton are into health care.

Two particular aspects of the criminalization of medical services have gotten a lot of attention from our guest today, investigative reporter and journalism teacher Joe Eaton,

  1. the learned helplessness at Medicaid and Medicare, in the face of tens of billions of dollars a year in systemic frauds and…
  2. the looting of customers of the fast-changing pharmaceutical industry, where the legal predators of overpricing are matched by illegal “black-market” prescription drug manufacturers, distributors and dealers, and, again, where under-funded law enforcement is running way behind the innovators of well-organized crime.

Reading Room

University of Montana Assistant Professor Joe Eaton joined the school’s faculty in the fall of 2013 after a professional career that included work as an award-winning investigative reporter and as a freelance writer for magazines such as National Geographic. Before joining the faculty, he worked as an investigative reporter at the Washington, D.C.- based Center for Public Integrity, where he specialized in database reporting on health care issues. In 2013, he won the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation’s Print Journalism Award for a series exploring rising Medicare costs.

“The War on Medicare Fraud” – AARP

“Counterfeit Drugs Are Flooding the Nation’s Pharmacies And Hospitals” – AARP

“Glitch in the Machine” – Pacific Standard

“Former FDA Staffer Claims Prescription Drug ‘Blackmarket’ Going Unreported” – Mint Press News

“New Black Market Designer Drugs: Why Now?” – WebMD

“Black Market & Drug Abuse” – Epidemico

“Colorado researcher’s black-market drug site a window on opioid abuse” – Denver Post

“April 29, 2016:Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest Of Black Market Distributor Of Diverted HIV Medications Worth Approximately $4 Million” – Food and Drug Administration

“Researchers use black-market drug website to gauge public health” – The Boston Globe

“Hospitals grab at least $1 billion in extra fees for emergency room visits” – The Center for Public Integrity

“Eyelid lifts skyrocket among Medicare patients, costing taxpayers millions” – The Center for Public Integrity

“Doctors, others billing Medicare at higher rates” – The Washington Post

“Florida Doctor Pleads Guilty to Fraud – Years After Complaints About His Prescribing” – ProPublica

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