LJWorld.com weblogs Elections 2014
Wolf earns big money from government health care programs he criticizes
Dr. Milton Wolf and the medical practice he works for received more than $1.4 million in 2012 and 2013 in reimbursements from the very government-run health care programs that he criticizes in his campaign, according to Medicare and Medicaid billing records.
Wolf, a radiologist based in Johnson County, is also a Tea Party-backed candidate in the upcoming Republican primary for U.S. Senate, where he hopes to unseat incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts.
Wolf, also a distant cousin of President Barack Obama, has made opposition to the Affordable Care Act, as well as other forms of government-sponsored health insurance, a centerpiece of his campaign. Last year, before formally announcing his candidacy, Wolf published a book titled "First Do No Harm: The President's Cousin Explains Why His Hippocratic Oath Requires Him to Oppose ObamaCare."
In that book, Wolf is highly critical of all forms of government intervention in the health care marketplace, including Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly. Of Medicare, he writes:
"New layers of bureaucracy and taxes were established to administer the program and coerce compliance. Patients and providers who wished to maintain their freedom from this government coercion faced even higher taxes and other financial penalties, which overall had the confounding effect of increasing private health care costs and decreasing the ability of many patients to afford it. This created a vicious circle of swelling rolls of government dependents and fewer people left to pay the bills."
According to Medicare data made public last week, Wolf personally received $101,001 in reimbursements from Medicare in 2012.
Additional records for both Wolf and his medical practice, Alliance Radiology, that would also cover 2013 have not been made public, despite a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Journal-World in February.
Congress established Medicare in 1966 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "Great Society" initiative. Within the same bill was another provision establishing Medicaid, a joint state-federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled.
Wolf and Alliance Radiology have also received substantial reimbursements from Medicaid in both Kansas and Missouri.
During 2012 and 2013, the Missouri Medicaid system paid $1.374 million to Alliance Radiology, which is based in Shawnee, while it paid Wolf himself $1,447.54.
Over the same period, the Kansas Medicaid system paid Alliance Radiology $165,631.29, according to officials at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Wolf himself did not receive any reimbursements from Kansas Medicaid.
Wolf's campaign did not respond to phone and email requests for comment on the reimbursement records.