Medicaid Payments Go to Dead People, As Do Food Stamps and Stimulus Package Money

The State of Maryland spends millions of Medicaid dollars on dead people, “about half of it from the federal government,” notes The Washington Examiner. Maryland officials ignored information in a federal Social Security database, and even information in their own computers, in approving this spending. Of the millions in improper payments, “$426,403 in postmortem Medicaid benefits had been paid to just 10 deceased individuals, nine of whom were enrolled in managed care organizations. In one case, Medicaid payments to a nursing home began eleven months after the individual had died.”

As we noted yesterday, dead people also get food stamps, and fraud in food stamp programs costs taxpayers billions of dollars. “While many recipients had invalid Social Security numbers and were double-dipping between federal and state programs, many of the recipients also happened to be dead. This has become a pervasive problem in the realm of government benefits. (The Social Security Administration also sends millions of dollars to recipients who are dead.)” As Jim Bovard noted in The Wall Street Journal, state attempts to prevent fraud in the food stamp program are being thwarted by the Obama administration: “The Obama administration is responding by cracking down on state governments’ antifraud measures.”

Obama’s stimulus package largely repealed welfare reformencouraging states to make welfare payments to undeserving people. Much stimulus money has been wasted. It has gone to dead people and prisoners, wasteful welfare spending, abandoned bridges to nowhere, and unnecessary government buildings. The stimulus package subsidized foreign green jobs and wiped out jobs in our export sector. Small wonder that Harvard economist Robert Barro called it “the worst bill that has been put forward since the 1930s.”