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A new report details which states are the worst offenders of welfare abuse and how to fix the problem.

The Foundation for Government Accountability has released a report detailing the worst cases of welfare abuse and proposed specific remedies including increased screening, checkups, and prosecuting those who commit fraud.

While the federal government doesn’t track improper payments, a state by state review by FGA uncovered “excessive rates of waste, fraud and abuse.”
According FGA’s report, the state with the most welfare fraud is Arkansas followed by Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York and Ohio. Regarding Nebraska, the reported stated that “More than three-quarters of the audited cases had received incorrect payments, with auditors identifying several cases of apparent fraud.”

The numbers are troubling all around. FGA points to Medicaid as one place where a lot of fraud exists. The report estimates Medicaid has as an improper payment rate of 10%. That means billions of dollars in taxpayer funded benefits across the country are going to individuals committing fraud.

While the report recommends better screening and checkups on recipients, it also recommends governments begin sending a message against welfare fraud by prosecuting those commit it.
“All cases of fraud and misrepresentation should be referred to the appropriate authorities for prosecution and benefit recovery,” the report states.  “States should uphold the sacred trust that comes with the collecting and spending of taxpayer dollars by collecting any fraudulent welfare payments and removing individuals from other public programs if they have committed fraud.”

The need for welfare reform is acknowledged across the political spectrum. Agreeing on what needs to be done is another story. But a logical first step would be the cut benefits being received fraudulently.

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