Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Your ass is in a knot over welfare fraud. (Yes. I do listen.) And, you are a proponent of the big government intrusion of mandating citizens present photo identification when they go to exercise control over government, via ballots. As social engineering is an incrementalist’s game, whether progressive or classic liberal, you should be happy as a clam to hear this:
From the Boston Dead Tree Rag:
It’s time to slap photos on EBT cards and crank up oversight of the state’s “broken” welfare system before more dead people can collect benefits, an incensed House Speaker Robert DeLeo told the Herald yesterday.
“Why do we have to let the wound fester? We have to stop this fraud, and we have to stop it now,” DeLeo said, adding he was “appalled” by a state audit released Tuesday that showed $2.4 million paid to more than 1,100 dead people and $27 million to live recipients collecting EBT benefits out of state, including in Alaska and Hawaii.
DeLeo said House proposals to put photos on EBT cards, create a Bureau of Program Integrity and allow the Inspector General to monitor the embattled agency “are needed now more than ever,” and promises by the Patrick administration that they are addressing the problems aren’t enough.
For sure, if EBT cards are printed with a photo id of the benefit holder, an idea I fully support; then this will be a valid id. Thus, should the photo id intrusion into our ballot system of checks and balances move forward, those of us guarding against voter suppression will be partially relieved.
I love ‘checks and balances.’ It’s the wisest creation of The Founders.
Update: David Bernstein, of Boston Magazine, did a nice job sorting through the spin factor around the Auditor’s report. Such revelations will not help Teddy regain his composure. Maybe, it will help you, as it did me. Please proceed below the fold for an outtake.
Clearly the administration side feels that Bump fed a false media narrative of massive ongoing waste and abuse justifying various legislative reforms. I think to some extent they have a point; the likely over-reaction of press and pols was easily predictable, and I think Bump’s team could have tried to mitigate that by taking more care in the presentation of the findings, which in some cases I think were not as qualified as they could have been. I would have liked to see some benchmarking of how other, similar agencies fare, and perhaps a little less emphasis on theoretical monetary losses that, while common and worthwhile in an audit of this type, are not partciularly relevant or justifiable. I don’t agree with those who have accused Bump of grandstanding, but I do think that the report and press release, and some of her public statements, overstated some points or left out useful caveats.
But, that said, the reality is that no matter how Bump wrote it or talked about it, many in the rabid right and the hyperventilating media were going to squawk about dead people receiving benefits, and scream for overreacting measures. They always do that. It’s not really Bump’s job to pre-overreact to predictable overreaction. It’s certainly not her job to help roll the audit out in a way that tells the administration’s preferred narrative of recent progress. Her office underwent, for two years, an important audit of the controls and data integrity at a major handler of public moneys, and reported the (again, essentially unsurprising and unoriginal) results.
THE One with the EBT makes the first step Jack lets start there, we haven’t solved that problem first. …
An objective person would think …?
That micro-economy extends to mom ‘n pop retail shops and absentee landlords. The Chamber of Commerce is on the Dole, Tax Payer.
Did you catch a whiff of the coffee, just now? It smells like MONEY!
Yes it reported!
Various other small convenience stores have also been reported!
30.Tax Payer Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 11:28 am
Yes it reported!
31.Tax Payer Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 11:29 am
Various other small convenience stores have also been reported!
Just to nit pick, you did not write that YOU reported it, only that it has been reported. So I expect your superiors and/or the DA will take action against those businesses, No?
There are a lot of problems in this country.
If your political energy is put into being vigilant about poor people getting over on you, you are being played for a sucker. Somebody is doing their damnedest to distract you.
The question is, do you want to be a rube your whole life?
Joe I’m being a realist. at lot of money has been wasted that could go to schools, mentally ill etc,. I just want accountability people like you defend no accountability I don’t get what is there to hide. There should be no argument here lets get some accountability measure sin place and see if they work. We try to repair roads, schools, sidewalks, sewers, why not the EBT system!
No, Taxpayer, a very small amount of money is being wasted. There are vastly - as in, thousands of times larger - amounts of money being wasted than this chickenfeed, yet you focus on those poor folks. Have you ever read about the F-35 and F-22 projects? Of course not - some strong young buck is buying cuts of beef with his EBT card, and Lord knows that’s where the real money is.
Your insistence that this is about the money is an obvious pretext, and you seem to be the only one who is fooled by it.
Oh, and you tell me that I “defend no accountability.” Could you quote the part where I did that? Could you remind me of where I denounced Susan Bump’s investigation or proposed reforms?
I’m all for good, efficient government, and I’m glad responsible adults are keeping an eye on the system. What I object to is political leaders like DeLeo trying to gin these run-of-the-mill management headaches into political fodder, and getting people like you riled up against your lower-income neighbors. It’s a scam, and you should be aware that it’s being run on you.
To give you a sense of how important this story is, about $800,000 per year being wasted in the entire state under the EBT program: the new trash-hauling contract the City of Lowell just signed will save us $1 million a year. That’s just savings in one contract in one city in one year.
No one is against government oversight, but ask yourself why this story is so important to you, since it is obviously not the money.
Joe there is millions if fraud you in denial! I guess your from the theory of don’t fix a leaky faucet. Its millions JOE not hundreds of thousands its millions.
http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2013/06/auditors_insist_welfare_report_s_accuracy_spot_on LAST TIME CHECKED SUZANNE BUMP WAS A DEMOCRAT she gets it and wants to fix the problem you defend a half thought out system. Always room for improvements! I guess your perfect
Check your comment settings. I have had to fill in your name for the last 3 posts.
Thanks Jack and good post on Mitchell!
That was Mimi’s post.
If I get too close to Mitchell, chickenshits will try to say we are related, plotting in some evil cabal. I’ve already heard one rumor that I am his Uncle. You realize, Tax Payer, we are dealing with slippery nitwits.
Joe there is millions if fraud you in denial!
Yes, indeed: if you are in denial, you can pretend that there are “millions if fraud.”
I guess your from the theory of don’t fix a leaky faucet…LAST TIME CHECKED SUZANNE BUMP WAS A DEMOCRAT she gets it and wants to fix the problem you defend a half thought out system. Always room for improvements! I guess your perfect
You’re not much of a reader, are you? Here’s what I said: “I’m all for good, efficient government, and I’m glad responsible adults are keeping an eye on the system…No one is against government oversight,”
I specifically endorsed what Bump was doing. Not what you and the Republican hacks trying to build up this molehill are doing, but the actual work of overseeing and reforming the program - I specifically said I was glad that was happening.
Please, if you’re going to respond to my comment, RESPOND TO MY COMMENTS. Not some imaginary comment you decided you’d rather pretend I wrote, but my actual comments. When you don’t - when you do things like this - it just makes it appear that you can’t rebut my actual point, and need to hide behind some silly strawman instead.
Third time’s a charm, they say, so here’s hoping it penetrates this time: I support Bump’s efforts to tweak the system. What I am objecting to is not what LAST TIME I CHECKED BUMP WAS A DEMOCRAT is doing, but what DeLeo and you are doing (or, more likely, what DeLeo is doing to people like you) by trying to build it up into an important political story to distract the public from things that actually matter.
And by “actually matter,” I mean “cost more money than the savings in one year of Lowell’s trash contract.”
Joe again its Millions hopefully for the last and final time! Fraud was well over at min 30mil!
I hope you washed your hands thoroughly after plucking that number from its snug home.
Joe you can help for being in denial!
I was actually going to suggest he share with us and the Attorney General the items of fraud to come up with that number since he seems to know.
Just to take another look at this report by Auditor Bump, the following is a letter from HHS Secretary John Polanowicz questioning Bump’s numbers and asking for additional information. Those 1200 dead people getting benefits? HHS says not even close! I don’t recall seeing this in our local newsletter.
Dear Auditor Bump,
I am writing to renew our request for the full information used to produce your most recent audit of the Department of Transitional Assistance (OTA).
Of the nearly 875,000 individuals OTA serves, your audit references 1,164 cases where recipients “appear to have been deceased” or were using a deceased individual’s Social Security Number to access benefits. One case of an individual fraudulently receiving benefits is one case too many. We will track down anyone who commits fraud and hold them accountable.
But to date, your office has only provided us with 178 cases where individuals were identified as deceased even though their guardians were claiming benefits. After eliminating 13 duplicate entries, OTA researched the remaining 165 cases, and found that 54 of those cases had already been closed, while 79 cases cited as deceased were in fact not deceased. DTA took action on 32 cases as a result of the audit, and only 17 cases were identified as guardians receiving benefits on behalf of deceased individuals - and they have all been closed. OTA staff are ready to conduct a full review once we receive the 1,164 cases from your office.
Your office also said OTA provided $662,000 in benefits to individuals who were receiving benefits under two separate Social Security Numbers. This is false. Auditors provided 26 cases to review where it appeared one person was receiving benefits under two separate Social Security Numbers. After our review, we found that 18 of those cases were actually two individuals living at the same home with the same name. Of the remaining cases, two are being investigated by DTA as potential fraud.
Regarding the audit’s claim that EBT cards were not located in secure locations, over half of these cards were located at the Worcester Transitional Assistance Office, which had suffered a flood in July 2012. The flood significantly impacted the storage space available, and the office was forced to temporarily change storage and security for EBT card inventory. The area in which the cards were held was patrolled by security officials. All EBT cards were kept in a safe and the office abided by proper security protocols with regards to active cards.
In light of the inaccuracies found with the guardianship cases you provided OTA, I am again requesting the complete set of cases cited in your audit. If your team requires assistance in confirming the validity of these cases, OTA stands ready to help with that review. Earlier this year, the Office of the Inspector General released a comprehensive report on OTA and provided the Department with all cases in question for further review. This process helped us work with the inspector general to collaboratively zero in on the cases that required action or closure.
As your audit noted, all but a tiny fraction of the $1.7 billion in benefits OTA administers each year is used as intended. As part of Interim Commissioner Stacey Monahan’s 100 day action plan, OTA is hiring new program integrity staff to investigate fraud, waste and abuse. We are integrating new systems to block prohibited ATM transactions, restrict access to replacement EST cards and conduct new state and federal data matching.
In the past, when we found flaws in our data, we assumed responsibility and corrected our faults. If the error rate found in the sample of cases you have provided us with reflects the error rate in the larger group of cases, I trust the audit results would be adjusted accordingly.
On behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration, I want to thank you for your continued focus on program integrity at OTA and across state government. We share your goals of addressing fraud and abuse, and we will take swift action to recoup any improperly obtained funds to taxpayers. We look forward to working together to protect these programs and help our most vulnerable residents meet their basic needs.
John W. Polanowicz
Secretary. Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Ms. Bump was just on Channel Five news over 2million to deceased parties! that’s the tip never mind the other fraud. Still in denial. Wouldn’t won’t to live at your house with all the water you must waste with all your leaky faucets!
2 Million? I thought it was 18. OK, so now we’re talking 0.4%, it’s 0.05%.
Lynne that is just for dead people who receiving benefits not anything else that it was portion of the fraud, add it all up its over 18million well over! Hey if two million is nothing to you please feel free to give two million to me considering you write it of as chump change. Your the chump grow up!
Wait even better idea we can takes Lynne’s “chump change” two million dollars and we put more tents along the river, and we can tons of chicken coops and we can buy bags of needles for everyone to throw in the river! Perfect Thanks Lynne for you “chump change”
“state Auditor Suzanne M. Bump released a scathing report showing DTA paid about $2.4 million to 1,100 dead people — and doled out millions more to live recipients collecting EBT benefits from Florida and Las Vegas to the Virgin Islands.” CHUMP CHANGE FOLKS hahahahahaha
I bring this paragraph to your attention…you seem to be taking Bump on her word but disregard HHS and their investigation and requests. I guess it’s not true if it’s not in the local newsletter.
“…But to date, your office has only provided us with 178 cases where individuals were identified as deceased even though their guardians were claiming benefits. After eliminating 13 duplicate entries, OTA researched the remaining 165 cases, and found that 54 of those cases had already been closed, while 79 cases cited as deceased were in fact not deceased. DTA took action on 32 cases as a result of the audit, and only 17 cases were identified as guardians receiving benefits on behalf of deceased individuals - and they have all been closed. OTA staff are ready to conduct a full review once we receive the 1,164 cases from your office. …”
In the words of Nicholson ‘You can’t handle the truth”!
Enlighten us with specifics
“EVEN BEFORE state Auditor Suzanne Bump released her audit last week illustrating quite clearly that the state Department of Transitional Assistance made millions of dollars in questionable payments to people who were dead or otherwise ineligible for benefits, Gov. Deval Patrick’s spinmeisters were hard at work behind the scenes.
According to Statehouse sources, Patrick loyalists tried to get the Statehouse press corps to buy in to the notion that Bump was going to be incredibly negative on the DTA and the Patrick administration. Instead, Bump delivered the stunning news with the clarity and impartiality of a professional auditor during Tuesday’s press conference — even though she has political aspirations.
The 2 1/2-year audit found that 1,164 people continued to receive welfare benefits for six to 27 months after they died. Taxpayers’ cost: Nearly $2.4 million.
“Clearly, the governor’s people misplayed this one,” said one source.
The governor’s people? What about the governor himself? Is their anything that gets under his skin? Annie Doohkan? Compounding pharmacies? The list goes on.
Would it have hurt the governor politically to stand with Bump and express outrage? Of course not. He would have scored some badly-needed political points.
Patrick should be livid that such an important program has been poorly managed, preventing thousands of people from getting badly-needed help liberals like himself believe government is there to provide.
Instead, Patrick was quoted Friday saying, “What I’m asking you to do, and the public and the auditor to do, is also put this in proper perspective.”
Patrick must have missed Bump’s press conference, because she did precisely that. She dutifully noted that in the entirety of the DTA budget, several million might seem small. But it’s still unacceptable.
At least there’s some outrage, and call for action, coming from Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo
Um. Taxpayer. You are forwarding Campi’s frame, here.
I’ll refer back to the Bernstein article cited above:
But, that said, the reality is that no matter how Bump wrote it or talked about it, many in the rabid right and the hyperventilating media were going to squawk about dead people receiving benefits, and scream for overreacting measures. They always do that. It’s not really Bump’s job to pre-overreact to predictable overreaction. It’s certainly not her job to help roll the audit out in a way that tells the administration’s preferred narrative of recent progress.
It’s almost like Bernstein knows Campi.
It was actually Chris Scott a Democrat!
A Lowell Democrat? What? Like Rita and Nangle? You’re gonna have to do better than that.
Besides, who is the Editor over there? You know the ‘Golden Rule.’
Again Jack your following your agenda the issue here is EBT not Campi, not Rita, not Nangle! I just love that fact that people like you cannot accept that the system is flawed and has spiraled out of control under the leadership of Democrats. I am one and they failed. Its the truth, the system needs an overhaul in which taxpayer money is not misappropriated. I’m glad we are starting to move in the right direction.
You’re going to lecture me about agendas, when Bernstein points out, “the rabid right and the hyperventilating media were going to squawk about dead people receiving benefits, and scream for overreacting measures.”
Apparently, your agenda is to ignore the reforms that were conducted, which Bump’s audit doesn’t account for. Further, though I wish I had the missing money under my mattress, it is a matter of fractions. Yet, your bombastic compulsion to make the prefect be the enemy of the good (and improving), belays your agenda.
Lincoln called it, ‘a more perfect Union.’ Thanks for the help. Though, likely, you are one of the conservatives that takes as much as you can get off the dole.
Not being willing to make perfection the enemy of a program that is working very well.
Calling for a political lynching because a program isn’t perfect but only works very well.
Well, one of these is an agenda. You decide.
One more time then I’m done with this because it is clear that if it is not in the local newsletter (and they chose NOT to publish the HHS response) then it can not possibly be true…right!
From HHS Secretary John W. Polanowicz:
“…only 17 cases were identified as guardians receiving benefits on behalf of deceased individuals - and they have all been closed. …”
Another moon bat stated it was “fat fingers” that inputted the data wrong give. Fat fingers I have to admit that is the funniest excuse I have ever heard of yet the most pathetic and desperate!
Why shouldn’t people have to show a SSN number for Welfare and public housing? what’s so wrong about that? I had to show mine to buy my house and get a loan
• Establishing a timeline to put photos on EBT cards;
• Prohibiting most recipients from using placeholders for Social Security numbers after three months;
• And requiring the assets and incomes of sponsors to be considered when weighing benefits for immigrants.
The proposals, if cleared by the committee, would be part of the supplemental budget filed on Monday. They would mark the first action by House lawmakers since state Auditor Suzanne Bump released her May 28 review that found the state Department of Transitional Assistance had doled out millions in benefits to more than 1,100 dead people.
Story link here.
THERE IS A GOD SORRY MIGHT OFFEND PEOPLE ON THIS BLOG
Mr Lynne Update: the link the commenter used didn’t go to the story quoted but rather to Herald’s Local Coverage section. I fixed the link and block-quoted the referenced article’s text.
I know I said I was done, then I ran across this:
That’s not a true test first of all. They should also collect social security, EBT and snap food stamps all in one Plus there are many churches that feed people on daily basis with no cost.
Then take the challenge yourself. Feed yourself on $31.50 a week. Show us all on how great it is.
Because that’s not reality. Nobody gets 31.50 a week. Keep trying to manipulate. If it were 31.50 a week I think the commercials would be for America for .27 cents a day not Africa. See you get defensive over the issue. That’s your fault the reality is yes there needs to be welfare and assistance without a doubt. Secondly all good hardworking people want is for their dollars and cents not to be wasted that’s all… You defend waste when you need not too… You my friends are just as guilty as any republican for stick’n to the “cause”. There’s no unity but divide with you… That’s what wrong. I speak from the heart and for what’s right,t I don’t have an agenda and one day yes I will run for public service in politics. But until, I make a real difference in LOWELL every day more than you do (CONCEDED YES BUT TRUTH) I buy a pizza and fries for a young man from Espresso’s every week and I can assure you that is more rewarding and fulfilling that anything you do with your pety politics and agenda. Keep playing chess while I play the game of life! Sorry for the rant but its the truth
“…but its the truth”
Sure it is.
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