TV Report: Waste & Fraud in Public Welfare

In a scathing investigative report, Chris Papst at CBS 21 revealed a widespread culture in Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW)—and orders from supervisors—to look past fraudulent claims to enroll more people in welfare program.

DPW accounts for 40 percent of the state’s budget and makes an estimated 15 percent of all Medicaid payments in error, according to a report by the Auditor General, wasting an incredible $1 billion annually.

Examples of abuse are legendary.

From taxpayer-funded cruises, to NCAA basketball games, to unnecessary luxury vehicles, DPW has had long history of fiscal profligacy.

What’s the solution? Here are just a few examples from our policy report on reforming welfare.

  • Utilize performance-based budgeting to expand programs that work and end programs that don’t.
  • Aggressively identify and cut waste and abuse by enforcing eligibility standards.
  • Establish time limits on benefits and enhance work requirements to keep the safety net from becoming a permanent welfare hammock.

Watch CBS21’s full report featuring a whistleblower’s first-hand account of the culture of waste at DPW and comments from our own Nathan Benefield.