State Sen. Josh Harkins / Finding welfare fraud

Critics complain all these examples come from out-of-state and they want in-state examples to justify these reforms. But we have these out-of-state examples because they enacted the reforms and found them. In other words, they found them when they looked for them. But critics here don’t want us to look for them.

Based on the experiences in other states, the reforms we’re working for in Mississippi are expected to save $40 million annually for our Medicaid program. That’s worth looking for. Best of all, the verification service we will be using will essentially cost nothing because it will only be paid for out of the savings we get from eliminating fraud and abuse. My bill will also reduce caseloads for social workers drowning in paperwork.

Rampant fraud can be curbed by utilizing existing data and technology that has a proven track record in other states. Our resources are too scare, the state budget too tight, and the stakes too high, to continue to expose our welfare programs to waste and abuse that is easily preventable with a few practical reforms.

Neshoba Democrat