While leftists insist that we should open up welfare to more people, and that our standards for eligibility are too “strict,” it seems that at least one state has no standards whatsoever.
An audit from the inspector general revealed that people who were ineligible for Medicaid were given benefits in Kentucky — over $72 million — over a period of just six months, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
How did this happen? It turns out that staff handling Medicaid requests were not always verifying that the beneficiaries were actually citizens, even though they are required to as a condition of employment.
Eight percent of those applying for Medicaid in the audit’s six month period were not required to provide documents proving their citizenship, but they received benefits anyway, amounting to three percent of the benefits Kentucky paid out over that same six month period. It’s reasonable to think this fraud has been going on much longer than six months.
The audit estimated that 69,931 of Medicaid beneficiaries in Kentucky were likely ineligible for benefits. In face of such evidence, you will still find leftists who refuse to believe a single illegal alien has leeched off of our welfare system.
The inspector general’s report also revealed that it was a combination of human and computer “errors” that allowed people, who may or may not be citizens, to receive Medicaid benefits.
The Department for Medicaid Services in Kentucky argues that the problem has been resolved. The commissioner at the state agency, Stephen Miller, said, “When informed of the issue, the Department for Medicaid Services utilized staff communications and training to reinforce correct procedures.”
Miller implied that staff had to be reminded that, if they don’t see proof of someone’s citizenship, they can’t approve them for benefits — even if the applicant applied over the phone. Was this really an “error” and a miscommunication, or was it willful avoidance of the rules by state employees?
The report claims that computer errors occurred when one Kentucky resident applied for benefits over the phone, and as a result, was not prompted to prove their citizenship. There were supposedly records accounting for the applicant’s citizenship stored in a system called Datahub, as well as on a platform called Kynect, but the records were corrupted or improperly displayed somehow.
Commissioner Stephen Miller claims the phone loophole has been closed, and that the application process now requires applicants to prove their citizenship over the phone. His response did not address the Datahub and Kynect errors specifically, so we can’t be sure whether or not that issue has been properly addressed.
The bottom line is that American taxpayer money has been given to non-citizens through the Medicare program. How many other states have committed similar errors — whether innocent, or intentional?
Every major news network should be reporting on the fact that millions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted, either by simple bureaucratic errors, or by people willfully taking advantage of the system. People scam the system by finding loopholes that allow them to receive benefits they are not entitled to.