Green Room

Good news: Up to half of Illinois’ Medicaid enrollees aren’t eligible for the program

posted at 11:28 am on November 6, 2013 by

Remember Medicaid?  You know, the massive, costly federal healthcare program for America’s indigent?  Within the last few months, it’s been (a) exposed as an empirical failure by the most comprehensive study ever done, and (b) expanded hugely by Obamacare, natch.  Here’s how Medicaid is working in the Land of Lincoln:

The early findings of an ongoing review of the Illinois Medicaid program revealed that half the people enrolled weren’t even eligible. The state insisted it’s not that bad but Medicaid is on the federal government’s own list of programs at high risk of waste and abuse. Now, a review of the Illinois Medicaid program confirms massive waste and fraud. A review was ordered more than a year ago– because of concerns about waste and abuse. So far, the state says reviewers have examined roughly 712-thousand people enrolled in Medicaid, and found that 357-thousand, or about half of them shouldn’t have received benefits. After further review, the state decided that the percentage of people who didn’t qualify was actually about one out of four.

Not to fear, taxpayer-fleecing fraudsters, Big Labor has heroically filed a lawsuit to block the state from using private workers to purge ineligible recipients from the Medicaid rolls.  This thing may be tied up in court for awhile:

Illinois will continue looking at each of the 2.7 million people on Medicaid, trying figure out who doesn’t belong in the program despite a lawsuit from the state’s largest public employee union. Illinois’ Health and Human Services Director Julie Hamos said Tuesday the state will appeal a ruling that would force the state to essentially stop its Medicaid scrubbing program, which is being done by a private contractor. “We believe ending this contract … would not best serve the interest of Illinois taxpayers,” Hamos told a state legislative panel. “We do plan to appeal the decision of the arbitrator.” That arbitrator ruled in favor of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor union, saying Illinois could have offered the work of scrubbing the Medicaid rolls to state employees, who are members of the union.

Medicaid is the textbook definition of “junk” coverage.  Obamacare supporters are presently trying to excuse the president’s historic “keep your plan” lie by arguing that people are only losing “crappy” coverage anyway.  (In many cases, this isn’t true).  Yet they’re also resolutely in favor of doubling down on this failing government program — which provides genuinely horrible access and lousy care.  It’s almost as if results and evidence don’t matter to the Party of Science.  Parting snark from John Sexton:

Yup.

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Good news: Up to half of Illinois’ Medicaid enrollees aren’t eligible for the program

No problem… it just depends on what your definition of “eligible” is… Captain EO will fix this in a jiffy!

Marcola on November 6, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I don’t know what the saddest part of this story is:

- That Illinois paid out Medicaid to the half that is ineligible.
- That AFSCME filed a complaint to stop the belated purge because they weren’t the ones pushing the buttons.
- That said complaint successfully stopped the belated purge.

Steve Eggleston on November 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM

One would think officials in Illinois and Washington DC would be outraged to see that about half the recipients in Illinois getting Medicaid are ineligible.

That would normally be the case, but in an environment where a government program’s ‘success’ is not defined by the results, but by the number of people supported and the size of the expenditures, waste, fraud, ineligibility, and abuse are features, not bugs.

Athos on November 6, 2013 at 12:30 PM

The Federal government can’t even run the Medicare program. Is that a surprise to anyone with common sense? And, now we are seeing the trainwreck of Obamacare. For all the lies that Obama and Democrats have used to get Obamacare passed, they should all be thrown out of office. They have created one hell of a mess.

SC.Charlie on November 6, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Oh you mean Illinois that gave us Obama and the Chicago Way? That Illinois? Aww too bad. Must suck to be them huh? Pass the popcorn.

neyney on November 6, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Those aren’t Medicaid fraudsters, those are DEMOCRATIC VOTERS!

GarandFan on November 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The Gimmedat Party

Missilengr on November 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Illinois , Medicaid , and America is broke.

ama on November 7, 2013 at 8:11 PM