Tyler’s Take: Report reveals up to $4.4 billion wastedPublished 4:06pm Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The auditor general’s report faults the department for, among other things, failing to require patients to provide proof of eligibility, failing to investigate suspected fraud, making payments to dead people, making payments for services supposedly provided to people after they died, making payments for services people did not actually receive, lack of proper oversight and poor internal controls.
Sixty percent of the findings in the auditor general’s report are repeat findings, meaning the governor has known about — but failed to solve — the problem.
I am fuming.
Unchecked, out-of-control spending like this has to stop. Sloppy bookkeeping and total disregard for how the state spends taxpayer dollars cannot be tolerated.
Three things now need to happen. First, I am calling on the governor to appoint an independent comptroller to implement the auditor general’s recommendations. Second, I am calling on the Attorney General to launch an investigation into how this was allowed to occur. Finally, there needs to be firings up and down the line, starting with the department head.
Least you think me overly harsh, let me point out that $4.4 billion is nearly a third of the department’s budget during the period covered by the audit. That is a lot of waste, fraud and abuse to let go unchecked.
The governor keeps arguing that we need to raise taxes. We don’t need to raise taxes. Michigan residents pay enough taxes – our government just isn’t using the money responsibly.
I hear all the time from people telling me that there hasn’t been enough done to reduce spending, and they don’t want to pay another cent until real reforms are made. The auditor general’s report is a perfect example of why we don’t need to raise taxes. We need to make reforms.
I look forward to hearing your comments on these important issues. Please feel free to contact me by calling (888) 373-0078 or e-mailing email@example.com.