The legal process:- That fraud and the misuse of patients for profit is widespread in the US corporate health care system is now beyond dispute. The difficulty for the critic of corporate medicine lies in the US legal system. The criminal courts deal primarily with crimes against the person. It can be many years before a case comes to court. Criminal fines for crimes like fraud are small and a criminal guilty plea to fraud has little adverse impact on the credibility of the company among corporate peers and none in the financial community where financial returns only are analysed.
As a consequence US authorities use the civil courts to prosecute fraud. Large settlement agreements are extracted and these usually include a "no wrongdoing proven" clause. More money will be paid for this. These large payments impact on profits and act as a slightly more effective deterrent. Companies will not settle if this would put them out of business. The FBI use this money to fund further prosecutions.
Silencing critics:- For the critic this means that the available evidence and the allegations have never been tested in court. Corporations continue to deny them and will pursue and attempt to silence their critics by taking actions alleging defamation. These are called "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation" or SLAPPs.
The validity of the allegations:- This site describes business practices and many of these allegations but it must be understood that this information is given on the basis that the sort of practices described are widespread and that the company has been the subject of such allegations. In most instances the company has elected not to confront the allegations and has paid large sums to do so. As a consequence it must be assumed that there is reasonable concern that such practices occurred and that the bulk of the allegations have some substance.
Justification:- The practices alleged pose a serious threat to any health system and to the welfare of large numbers of citizens. Corporations have the wealth to rapidly dominate and control the Australian health system and to influence politicians. Events have shown how difficult it is to dislodge individual corporations. Once the health system is corporatised it will be impossible to turn back. We will be faced with an escalating and ever more costly process as regulators seek to control and police corporate misconduct and corporations seek to influence politicians and find ingenious ways around the controls which have been placed on them. This is what is happening in the USA. This is why it is essential that the corporatisation of health care should be very publicly debated and why information should be publicly available.