Thursday, February 7, 2013

Republicans propose new state bureaucracy

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

At the top of today's hypocrisy watch is a proposed piece of legislation from Sen. David Sanders and Rep. Bruce Westerman. It would create a new bureaucracy to root out Medicaid fraud. It's focused on the recipient end, not the service provider. It is mostly about fingerprinting Medicaid recipients so that they must prove their IDs through a scanner when they seek medical services.

To date, most findings of significant Medicaid fraud are on the provider side — cheating hospitals, cheating drug companies, cheating doctors, unnecessary procedures, drugs used for non-indicated uses, fraudulent billing that sort of thing. But Republicans are sure the real fraud is a poor person seeing a doctor for a sinus infection who isn't duly qualified for the state's sympathy. Expansion of Medicaid to near universal coverage will make a new bureaucracy to install fingerprint scanners and all the other expensive stuff envisioned here even more irrelevant. But never mind that. New indignities for poor, working people and obstacles to public rights and services (be it voting or medical care) is part of the New Republican Order.

You don't suppose Sanders and Westerman know somebody who'd like to sell the state all this newfangled equipment, do you? Or some pals who'll run this new state agency? The state and federal government have existing means to combat fraud, by the way. This effort should begin with some believable demonstration of the need to first target sick people, not the providers where most of the money goes.

UPDATE: This bill smells of ALEC cookie cutter legislation and, sure enough, here's a look at use of the "smart cards" in other states. Barriers to participation. Ineffective in reducing fraud. But will create device sales for somebody and some new jobs for Republican hacks.

AND SPEAKING OF WORKING PEOPLE: A bill to repeal the state prevailing wage bill — which sets a pay standard on state building projects somewhat akin to federal prevailing wage law on federal projects — was defeated on a roll call vote after lengthy debate in the House Public Health Committee. Democrats hold a majority on this committee, if you're wondering how that happened. The bill got eight votes, needing 11.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Polling reported in Democratic Senate primary; includes Bill Halter

    A friend reports an interesting automated poll Thursday night, relating to one announced and perhaps another potential Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.
    • Nov 7, 2015
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: A Literary Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Jul 1, 2016
  • Trump bombs on Saturday Night Live

    Correct me if you think otherwise, but commentary across the web seems unanimous that Donald Trump's turn on "Saturday Night Live" wasn't funny.
    • Nov 8, 2015

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation