Two doctors from Florida who received the nation’s highest Medicare reimbursements in 2012 are both major contributors to Democratic Party causes, and have used the political system in recent years to protect themselves from accusations that they may have submitted fraudulent or excessive charges to the federal government, The New York Times reported.
The Department of Health and Human Services released for the first time this week data showing Medicare payment records to doctors. There appears to be a link between large Medicare payments to certain physicians who have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic political campaigns and PACs.
Dr. Salomon Melgen, an ophthalmologist from North Palm Beach, Fla., who received $21 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012, donated more than $700,000 to Majority PAC, a super PAC run by former aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Another was Dr. Asad Qamar, an interventional cardiologist in Ocala, Fla., who was paid more than $18 million in 2012. He has sent at least $250,000 in donations over the last decade to the political campaigns of President Barack Obama and other prominent Democrats, according to the Times.
The doctors have defended themselves, saying suspicions about their compensation are unjustified.