The Wall Street Journal is suing to get the government to release details of how much money Medicare pays individual doctors and physicians.
I think this information should be public and applaud the Journal's suit, but I think the paper's explanation of it is off. The paper's editor, Robert Thompson, is quoted as saying, "It is in the interest of law-abiding practitioners that those who are gaming the system are exposed."
Dow Jones's general counsel says the confidentiality of the data "has allowed some doctors to defraud Medicare free from public scrutiny."
I think the data, if disclosed, would be an example of the Kinsley rule that the scandal isn't what's illegal but what's legal. In other words, if this data is released what it will show is that there are plenty of non-fraudulent, law-abiding practitioners that are earning incomes that fit the Barack Obama definition of "rich" by treating Medicare patients. That may not be a scandal but it may help explain with particular examples why Medicare costs have soared.