Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When Fraud Isn’t

When Fraud Isn’t
©2012 Ross Williams

My state, Illinois, at the impatient urging of the state’s Republicans, has spent over a year trying to get the Obama Administration to buy off on the state’s law to fight Medicaid fraud, the same Medicaid fraud that has caused the federal government to cease paying the Medicaid bills it owes to many states, which in turn causes the state to stop paying doctors and hospitals for medical care gotten by the poverty class folks who use it, which in turn causes doctors and hospitals to stop taking Medicaid patients because they can’t get paid as promised.

...you know, “rationing medical care”.

Obama organized many communities in Chicago when he lived there, and depending which way your cynicism is bending today, it may explain why his administration hasn’t approved the IL plan to fight Medicaid fraud. Of the 2.7 million people on Illinois’ Medicaid rolls, 6% can’t get their new, and free, Medicaid ID cards – because they live out of state. There’s six percent fraud-savings right there, even before a doctor gets visited.

Among the things Illinois wants to do is lop this 6% off their list and let the neighboring states where this 6% lives handle their own impoverished residents. But this may not pass muster with HHS, which runs Medicaid and Medicare, both, as well as the future Obamacare which was built on the premise that it [Obamacare] would not pull individuals in from either of the competing federal health benefit programs. If Obamacare siphoned from the Medicaid or Medicare client-list, why, it would make Obamacare more expensive than advertised and suddenly make it seem like the bad idea it always was.

The federal government has, over the past three years, adopted a political stance that effectively declares, “How dare the states attempt to control fraud and abuse of government programs and policies which are either the state’s own legal responsibility, or which we have compelled the states to undertake on our behalf and which they must pay for when we won’t! How DARE they!”

States are not allowed to prevent fraud or abuse in their election laws – which are their own to enforce. States are not allowed to prevent fraud or abuse in employment or social service programs because that borders on immigration enforcement which is a federal authority – which the feds are not even marginally fulfilling. And it leaves some to wonder what our federal government does that racks up $1.5T overspending annually if it’s not doing what is required of it. About the only thing I can tell Washington has been doing that takes all that money, apart from waging three wars and strip searching air travelers, is filing lawsuits against different states for trying to stop fraudulent use of government services.

I mean, spending government money to stop people from making other people stop unlawfully spending government money...? Seriously? That’s what we’re about? Not a wise use of China’s money, if you ask me. Have we cleared this with them?

I’m a US Citizen and have the documentation to prove it. The really, incredibly, truly sad thing is: I must prove it periodically – and not only when I’m trying to come back into the country, either. I have to prove it whenever I’m told to justify myself wanting to have a job. Because according to federal laws only US citizens and legal residents may hold jobs in the US. But states cannot verify citizenship or legal residence, because ... because ... well, the feds don’t have a real good answer for that yet, but they’re working on it. It’ll come out in court, I’m sure. In the meantime, employers are federally deputized to do the job of the federal government that the states should be doing if the feds won’t.

Voter fraud is a significant issue in urban areas; significant enough that voter registration organizations have been penalized and even disbanded [hello, ACORN] for issuing multiple registrations for individual voters ... and their dogs ... and their dead relatives. Some registrars have gone to jail over it. That’s just when it has been discovered, which we almost never try to do.

Research by the liberal-connected Pew Center says that 1.8 million dead people are currently registered to vote, 2.7 million living people are registered to vote in multiple states with a few thousand registered in four or more states, and 12.7 million people are registered with false addresses. While Pew suggests that these are little more than bookkeeping errors – which many undoubtedly are – the 12.7 million false addresses, most of which do not exist, are a troubling indicator of one of two things:
1] typos which should be corrected by providing a true address for which an ID is perfectly suitable, and
2] voter fraud which necessitates people wishing to vote proving who they are and where they live.

But when you talk about trying to make voters prove who they are before they vote, as I must every few years in order to hold a job, you run up against another cadre of government bureaucrat willing to spend China’s money to stop people from stopping other people from committing fraud. “Poor people don’t have IDs!” they wail.

They may not have driver’s licenses, no. And probably not a passport, either, which I have to use to justify holding my American job. But if they’re poor enough to not be able to afford the car for which they need the license, then they almost certainly don’t hold a job for which they’d need a passport to get. If they’re that poor, then they have a Medicaid ID card ... which is free ... and so the claim, usually accompanied by tears or indignant denunciations of the Tea Party for being racist, that they don’t have ID is completely false. Big surprise.

What they meant to say was that they didn’t have multiple IDs, such as from Medicaid, some of which were obtained fraudulently, for the purpose of gaming the system that Democrats condescendingly believe poor people are too stupid to game, and which Republicans are cynical enough to understand that – even if they are too stupid themselves – somebody is more than willing to clue them in on it, because it’s happening.

First they came for Medicaid fraud, and we didn’t stop it because saving money on the backs of the poor is bad form; then they came for voter fraud and we didn’t stop that either, for it helped get us elected; and then they came for immigration fraud which we also didn’t stop since that was a new voter bloc we could harness; by the time they came for political fraud no one was left to stop them.

So I can’t imagine the Obama Administration taking kindly to his home state of Illinois doing anything to reduce Medicaid fraud. It’s a slippery slope for the administration to start down, and the end wouldn’t be pretty. Integrity in government, even in small ways such as these, is not allowed in Chicago-Style Politics.


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