Right Hooks

Fighting Fraud Could Help VA's Medicaid Problem

But the governor wants to expand Medicaid first.

Dan Gilmore · Dec. 3, 2015
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Photo courtesy USDA, Flickr

The political spat happening in Virginia right now illustrates the difference between conservatives and big-government types. The Democrat governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, has been lobbying for the state to expand its Medicaid program, which both sides agree is currently inadequate. The Left’s first instinct when approaching a government program is to ratchet it up, to expand it until it’s too big to fail. McAuliffe believes ObamaCare is working, and he wants more of it for the commonwealth. As for conservatives, their first instinct is to approach the problem with a scalpel, to enact reform. And that’s what Virginia needs. On Dec. 1, the commonwealth sentenced 10 people who worked at a counseling business for submitting false Medicaid requests. Is this the only instance of fraud in Virginia’s Medicaid system? Of course not; Medicaid has long been rife with fraud. Furthermore, an audit last month of the commonwealth’s Medicaid program showed that it was paying out $21 million to residents who no longer qualified for the payout. But by all means, let’s follow the Democrat governor’s lead and pay out more money, so fraud and waste can merrily coexist alongside legitimate government expenditures. Who knows? With reform, maybe McAuliffe could’ve found that extra money he’s looking for. But the taxpayers of Virginia will never know.

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