Where is the outrage?

For years, we’ve heard from political ideologues and ambitious district attorneys about how much waste, fraud and abuse there is in state programs like Medi-Cal. Whenever there is a case in which a low-income recipient is charged or convicted, the right-wing cheering section is quick to applaud and point to the case as proof of rampant fraud.

But where was the applause when Attorney General Kamala Harris recently announced a $241 million settlement in a case of Medi-Cal fraud by Quest Diagnostics, the state’s largest provider of medical laboratory testing?  

The settlement resulted from allegations that Quest systematically overcharged the state’s Medi-Cal program for more than 15 years and gave illegal kickbacks in the form of discounted or free testing to doctors, hospitals and clinics that referred Medi-Cal patients and other business to the labs. Here’s what AG Harris said:

“In a time of shrinking budgets, this historic settlement affirms that Medi-Cal exists to help the state’s neediest families rather than to illicitly line private pockets. Medi-Cal providers and others who try to cheat the state through false claims and illegal kickbacks should know that my office is watching and will prosecute.

Where is the outrage from these right-wing politicians and ambitious district attorneys at this massive theft of taxpayer dollars? Why can’t these hypocrites muster the same fervor for going after big white-collar firms that score lucrative government contracts, whose taxpayer rip-offs dwarf the meager amounts possibly scammed by a few low-income elderly and disabled Californians?