Last month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the state is entitled to a jury trial when suing a private actor for Medicaid fraud under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (State v. Abbott Laboratories, 2012 WI 62).
In a nutshell, for someone to have a right under the Wisconsin Constitution to a jury, a claim must have some relationship to a claim that existed as common law when the constitution was adopted in 1848.
Thus, if I pollute your property, you have a right to a jury trial on your claim against me because nuisance is an action that existed as common law in 1848.
On the contrary, if the state Department of Natural Resources decides I can’t build a shed because it is within 1,000 feet of a puddle that recurs only for two weeks a year, the DNR has no right to a jury trial. In 1848, such a claim would have been deemed patently ludicrous, so the state has no right to a jury.
In the Abbott case, the defendants were charged with conspiring to charge inflated prices to Wisconsin Medicaid. The question was whether the state had a right to a jury trial.
The Supreme Court said yes, reasoning that because actions for fraud existed in 1848, the state has the right to a jury when it sues for Medicaid fraud.
A proper analysis would have asked the following question: In 1848, would our civilized society have considered Medicaid a legitimate function of government?
Of course not. Medicaid is an abomination, as is every other welfare program designed to destroy western civilization in the 20th century.
These programs are designed to: provide phony-baloney jobs to otherwise unemployable people to administer the programs; enable cronies of officeholders to steal from the taxpayers; and buy votes from the “beneficiaries” of the programs.
In contrast to common law fraud, there is no one in the welfare state with an incentive to protect themselves from fraud.
One of the elements of common law fraud is reasonable reliance. But the government cannot meet such an element in a Medicaid fraud action because the system was designed to defraud workers for the benefit of thieves.
Obviously, the government cannot create such a system and then say it reasonably relied on the misrepresentations of those thieves.
Absent reasonable reliance, there is no analogy to common law fraud. And thus, the court should have held there is no right to a jury trial.