How to Reduce Welfare Fraud

Following Matt Brouillette’s commentary on whether Tom Corbett (should he win) can balance the budget and keep his ‘no tax’ pledge, we got an email from a reader wondering how we can realize savings in Medicaid and welfare, just because there is fraud.

To start with, check out Elizabeth Stelle’s testimony on welfare fraud and abuse for solutions, including administrative action (the Rendell Administration cut investigations into welfare fraud by 50%, largely simply to boost the number of “people served”), whistleblower protection laws, and enabling recovery audits. In fact, the entire hearing is quite informative.

The House GOP includes reducing welfare fraud in their Solutions for PA. The highlights of their legislation on welfare reform can be found here. In addition to these Rep. Bryan Cutler has legislation (HB 1637 and HB 1638) that would impose stricter requirements for income verification.

The Senate Cost-Savings Commission outlined their own series of reforms in the Department of Public Welfare. Their report – which had the unanimous support of the members, including the self-proclaimed “most progressive member of the Pennsylvania Senate,” Daylin Leach – estimated cost savings at robust $380 million per year.

So yes, there are policies to reduce welfare/Medicaid fraud, and there is a lot of support for these reforms.