MA losing millions in wasteful spending

BOSTON (WWLP) — Inspector General Glenn Cuhna says Massachusetts could be paying as much as $25 million dollars to families and individuals who do not qualify for welfare. Testifying before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, Cuhna said a lack of staffing, resources and training made it difficult for the Department of Transitional Assistance to verify incomplete eligibility forms.

“Somebody needs to be following up and saying did you get the social security number? Is your kid in school? Where is the school? You know, give us the verification. That’s what we found wasn’t happening,” said Cuhna.

Attorney General Martha Coakley also asked lawmakers to crack down on Medicaid fraud.  Coakley has filed legislation that prohibits drug testing labs from abusing Medicaid through fraudulent relationships with halfway houses or other places that refer work to them.

“We’ve seen some abuse of that relationship. We’ve gotten back over $20 million dollars in cases we’ve brought so far,” said Coakley.

Lawmakers want more focus on eliminating wasteful government spending rather than raising taxes – Especially at a time when the governor’s state budget proposal puts the burden on taxpayers to raise nearly $2 billon dollars to fund new transportation and education projects.

Lawmakers said they are troubled by the reports of waste and fraud and intend to keep a closer watch on benefit programs to prevent fraud.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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