Ex-health chief testifies in senator bribery case

The testimony of Kathleen Sebelius, former HHS Secretary, given Tuesday in a corruption trial for Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., suggested the senator lobbied Ms. Sebelius on behalf of a physician friend who allegedly defrauded Medicare, according to The New York Times

Mr. Menendez faces bribery charges for allegedly accepting gifts in exchange for attempting to help his friend, ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, MD, who was sued for overbilling CMS by $9 million. Dr. Melgen donated more than $700,000 to a super PAC that spent $600,000 to help re-elect Mr. Menendez.

Ms. Sebelius testified she met with Mr. Menendez in 2012 at the request of former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., according to The New York Times. She said the meeting was unusual because the senator wanted to discuss a specific Medicare billing practice, which she was usually not personally involved in discussing. While the senator never mentioned Dr. Melgen by name, Ms. Sebelius said she knew the only case involving the policy in question at that time was Dr. Melgen's.  

Read the full story here.


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