Dec 17 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today that the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) today is putting the planks of his reforms into place by using federal income tax data for the verification of Medicaid recipients’ eligibility. Sen. Kennedy is hopeful that the data will prevent the state from wasting millions more dollars on ineligible Medicaid recipients.
Sen. Kennedy filed the Income Verification Act of 2018 in November to reduce fraud in taxpayer-funded government assistance programs by requiring states to use federal tax information to verify income eligibility. A report issued earlier this year by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office found that the state likely wasted up to $85 million on ineligible Medicaid recipients. A new report released today uncovered even more waste because of LDH’s failure to verify household size, taxpayer filer status and all types of income.
“The waste of taxpayer money in the Medicaid program is breathtaking,” said Sen. Kennedy. “LDH should have been checking Medicaid eligibility from day one instead of just throwing millions of dollars in the dirt, but I’m glad someone’s finally seen the light. I congratulate LDH on taking a cue from my bill and using readily available information to make sure even more money isn’t wasted. Sometimes you have to legislate common sense.”