Medicaid Abuse Shows Downside of Expansion

New polling shows 70 percent of Pennsylvania voters think we need to address waste, fraud and abuse in Medicaid before expanding the program.  A perusal of the news explains why.

The latest in the litany of tales of Medicaid abuse comes today from New York, and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. It turns out two companies overcharged New York taxpayers, according to audits, by more than $13 million dollars. Yet these companies were forced to pay back only a fraction of that amount after exerting political pressure on the New York governor—including allegedly using Ed Rendell to help make their case.

It is well known that welfare fraud and abuse ran rampant while Rendell was governor, but that he would actually help companies get rich off the poor might surprise some.

As Elizabeth noted last week, this is far from the only recent case and it shows the moral case against expanding the program. The Government Accountability Office estimates more than $20 billion in overpayments. In Texas, Planned Parenthood was forced to pay back $1.4 million in Medicaid fraud. And CNN looks at criminals running drug rehab centers and getting Medicaid funding in California.

These cases of waste, fraud and abuse prevent money from getting to the truly needy.

That such widespread corruption and abuse of the poor is so commonplace should indicate that Medicaid is a system that needs fixing, not expanding.