Lots of mail, lots of it angry, about my piece on Rep. Wilson, government-run health care, and illegal aliens.
Medicaid may be victimized by fraud, and it may be sloppily administered, but surely — the Democrats argue — it is going to far to suggest that Medicaid-program administrators are intentionally working to circumvent the law and defraud the public.
No, it isn’t. Here’s a neat summary of the findings of a Medicaid audit in the state of Washington, in which seven-figure sums were improperly diverted to illegal aliens, and in which program administrators apparently fought tooth and talon to undermine the audit, going so far as to alter records. Read for yourself. Washington:
• paid $22 million to individuals who did not provide valid Social Security Numbers (SSN) or offered no SSN at all;
• paid more than $1 million to individuals claiming a deceased relative’s SSN;
• provided $1.3 million in unallowable medical services to illegal aliens;
• cannot account for more than 1.4 million in pills worth in excess of $529,000; and
• did not cooperate with SAO’s audit, leading to the disclaiming of the $6.1 billion Medicaid program.
Regarding the lack of cooperation extended by DSHS, SAO made the following statements throughout its audit:
• [DSHS] personnel attempted to thwart particular audit procedures by questioning our authority to either expand the scope of our audit or to obtain certain information.
• [DSHS] altered information related to sample transactions while we were attempting to complete our review.
• In some instances, we were unable to independently interview line staff without the presence of management or without management’s selection of the employees to be interviewed.
• Staff members informed us that they had to obtain permission from management prior to speaking with auditors. During our review of the allowability of certain medical procedures and of procedures provided to undocumented aliens, we were never granted permission to speak with the medical consultants who had approval authority.
• The audit liaison system, as actually used by the Department, hindered our access to data and obstructed our contact with line staff. Additionally, the audit liaison system attempted to force us to rely on the Department’s representations as to the existence or accuracy of evidence. In effect, the Department was attempting to perform the work of the auditor, instead of allowing the auditors to perform an independent audit and reach a valid conclusion.
• It is inappropriate for the Department to withhold information because it believes it is not relevant or significant. The auditor should be given the information requested and have an opportunity to examine it and discuss it with the Department before the auditor decides its importance.
So, yeah, Wilson’s right to believe that the Democrats are not telling the truth when they say the programs they want to establish aren’t going to shunt money into the pockets of illegal immigrants.
I’m especially grateful for all the expletive-laden, unprintable, hate-filled missives suggesting that I am mentally and morally deficient, and that I must have been sexually abused as a child. They provide a wonderful context for all those lectures about civility I’m hearing.