Budget & Tax , Health Care
Trent England | September 25, 2017
Cost Avoidance #1: Less fraud in Medicaid
#1) Less Fraud in Medicaid: Make sure services reach those truly in need
Medicaid is a medical welfare program paid for by tax dollars from both the state and federal governments. Even though Oklahoma rejected the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, the program ballooned here anyway. Over the last 15 years, the number of Oklahomans enrolled has doubled and the cost to state taxpayers had tripled.
Federal reform is necessary to save Medicaid, both from compromising care for the most vulnerable and from bankrupting states and the country. State policymakers can, however, lead the way on some reforms. One thing states like Illinois and Pennsylvania have done is to improve audits of their Medicaid enrollees to weed out fraud and mistakes.
If Oklahoma achieved similar savings as other states, we could save more than $57 million for the current budget and much more (in both state and federal funds) in future years. Critics say that Oklahoma already checks the program, but the current focus is on policing against fraud by providers. This makes sense and saves money. But nobody—neither providers or enrollees—should steal from Medicaid.
Click here for OCPA's entire list of budget recommendations.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.