Quantcast

If There Were a Bounty on Stolen Entitlements, We’d All Be Hunting B.A.E.R.

AESantos (Tony) April 23, 2014

Pitch a stone in any direction, it’s liable to find someone who knows who has a Deck of “EBT” cards for sale, or barter, someone who’s been riding the disability train for years, yet healthy as a bull, or exploiting the “Friends and Family” use of Medicare and Medicaid.  If there’s an entitlement or benefit offered by State/Federal government someone is profiting by it politically and monetarily.  North of $1 Trillion was carved out of the Federal Budget for Medicare, Medicaid Snap and other “Safety Net” programs in 2013. It’s estimated that 10% of the Federal budget is lost to fraud which translates to $100 Billion plus in “Stolen Entitlements” and massive profit for those who know how to wrangle the system. To lend scope to that number, Governor Brown’s proposed budget for 2014 was $106 Billion to run the entire state of California.

The lack of will to aggressively prosecute Entitlement fraud, at the Federal level is mirrored at the state level as well.   Rhode Island the deepest of Blue states consistently ranks in the top 5 of “Worst Run States”, highest unemployment in the nation, and yet has the highest entitlement payouts in the nation. To get a handle on Rhode Politics, the entire Republican contingent in the R.I. General Assembly could Caucus by pushing a few tables at the local Denny’s.  That said an email outlining a legislative proposal to recover some $300 Million plus was sent to the near dozen Republicans in the R.I. General Assembly with only a single response.   Senator David Bates expressed interest in B.A.E.R, however after some tire kicking with other lawmakers his reply … “I am getting the usual reaction ie, none”.  Seems the prosecution and recovery of $300 Plus Million in outright theft is trumped by political cowardice and survival.   While the Rhode Island economy continues to circle the bowl, Entitlement Fraud will continue to be a profitable industry.

At the risk of inducing the reader into a coma full text of the entire proposal is outlined below.  The short version B.A.E.R. Bones will serve to drive the point home.

B.A.E.R Bones:
B.A.E.R.  Bounty Assisted Entitlement Recovery is a program to expand the current investigative capabilities by State Police, Office of Attorney General, and HHS Fraud investigators, not to put too fine point on it, provide a “Bounty/Incentive” to encourage potential informants to come forward and confidentially report acts of fraud in the entitlement, unemployment, and pension systems.  Bounties would be paid only when a case concludes with suspension of benefits, recovery/restitution, and or prosecution of the specific case.   Before pursuing any lead, the informant’s identity and information would first be vetted, and verified to establish credibility.  Bounty payments could potentially paid as a percentage of projected savings over a period of time, or a flat rate payment.  B.A.E.R. is designed to be self-funded thru recovery and savings.  If implemented at the State level, B.A.E.R. could also serve the 39 Municipalities in a similar capacity.

Full Text…..
Rep/Senator

     Outlined in broad strokes is a brief legislative proposal to help to save/recover millions, perhaps tens of millions annually in Health and Human Services, Unemployment, and Pension Fraud.  If introduced this proposal will no doubt at raise a ruckus.  Gut reaction would reckon this to be a reach for the “Third Rail” of Rhode Island politics, but in fact a review in its entirety would show the objective of this proposal is “Enforcement and not Reform”.  An aggressive effort to eliminate fraud will secure these programs for those who are truly eligible and help relieve an already crushing financial burden of Rhode Island taxpayers.  Rhode Island’s 2014 HHS budget comes in at $3.23 Billion, broken out $1.926 Billion from Federal funds, $1.32 Billion from Rhode Island general revenue.  HHS consumes the lions’ share of the entire state budget at near 42%   National estimates rank entitlement fraud at a massive 10% of the overall expenditure.  Many would argue this to be a conservative estimate.

B.A.E.R.  Bounty Assisted Entitlement Recovery is a program to expand the current investigative capabilities by State Police, Office of Attorney General, and HHS Fraud investigators, not to put too fine point on it, provide a “Bounty/Incentive” to encourage potential informants to come forward and confidentially report acts of fraud in the entitlement, unemployment, and pension systems.  Bounties would be paid only when a case concludes with suspension of benefits, recovery/restitution, and or prosecution of the specific case.   Before pursuing any lead, the informant’s identity and information would first be vetted, and verified to establish credibility.  Bounty payments could potentially paid as a percentage of projected savings over a period of time, or a flat rate payment.  B.A.E.R. is designed to be self-funded thru recovery and savings.  If implemented at the State level, B.A.E.R. could also serve the 39 Municipalities in a similar capacity. 

There’s comes a point when the act of committing fraud in any taxpayer funded program escalates from misdemeanor to felony, some have morphed into full blown criminal enterprises.   B.A.E.R. isn’t a reach for the “Third Rail”, it’s an extension of law enforcement to save/recover $300 Million lost to fraud annually.

I’m obliged for your time and consideration, and hope this proposal finds some traction in the Rhode Island General Assembly.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Respectfully,

About RedneckRepublic

Check Also

The Teppco “Tax-Jack” and 10 Waterfront Acres

The Teppco “Tax-Jack” and 10 Waterfront Acres Many Thanks to GoLocalProv for Carrying this Post …

3 comments

  1. Rep. Doreen M Costa

    Maybe more of us would have responded if we actually got the email

    • RedneckRepublic

      Rep Costa, After reviewing my reply I reckon you’ll understand why I a bit riled with Republican Lawmakers on Smith Hill ….. I’ve put a trainload of time drafting my last two proposals only to have them go unanswered…

      The Blog Post Title and Link (B.A.E.R.) was sent to you and every Republican on Smith Hill Monday 3/10/2014 at the EMail address posted with each Rep’s contact Info. not the first proposal I had forwarded to Republicans on Smith Hill without a response. Senator Dave Bates received this proposal and an earlier proposal I drafted that would to create 100 plus Post Construction Jobs capture Fuel, Service and Food revenues in the construction of a Service Plaza similar to those in Connecticut. That email was also sent to you and Every Republican lawmaker on Smith Hill on 2/20/2014 “Not Every Idea’s a Barnstormer” I’ve included that blogpost link for your reference. Senator Bates responded to that proposal as well (I’m not in his district), I’ve asked him to press Senator Jack Reed with the hope we can obtain a Federal Waiver so a formal project could be drafted. I had hoped other Republicans Lawmakers would have taken an interest, in an election year a band of Republicans lobbying Senator Reed for a Waiver for a project of this magnitude would amount to some serious “Bragging Rights” for all the players. You can review that post in the link below. Seems some folks in Connecticut have caught my Blog Post and have seen the potential to construct a new Service Plaza closer to the RI State Line More Interstate Traveler Dollars Heading South…
      Take a gander
      http://www.redneckrepublic.org/2013/12/09/rhode-islands-next-big-idea-even-bigger-than-calamari/

      Much Obliged
      Respectfully,
      Tony Santos

    • RedneckRepublic

      Never heard back from you, this is my 2nd Reply to your comment “Maybe more of us would have responded if we actually got the email”

      Rep Costa, After reviewing my reply I reckon you’ll understand why I a bit riled with Republican Lawmakers on Smith Hill ….. I’ve put a trainload of time drafting my last two proposals only to have them go unanswered…

      The Blog Post Title and Link (B.A.E.R.) was sent to you and every Republican on Smith Hill Monday 3/10/2014 at the EMail address posted with each Rep’s contact Info. not the first proposal I had forwarded to Republicans on Smith Hill without a response. Senator Dave Bates received this proposal and an earlier proposal I drafted that would to create 100 plus Post Construction Jobs capture Fuel, Service and Food revenues in the construction of a Service Plaza similar to those in Connecticut. That email was also sent to you and Every Republican lawmaker on Smith Hill on 2/20/2014 “Not Every Idea’s a Barnstormer” I’ve included that blogpost link for your reference. Senator Bates responded to that proposal as well (I’m not in his district), I’ve asked him to press Senator Jack Reed with the hope we can obtain a Federal Waiver so a formal project could be drafted. I had hoped other Republicans Lawmakers would have taken an interest, in an election year a band of Republicans lobbying Senator Reed for a Waiver for a project of this magnitude would amount to some serious “Bragging Rights” for all the players. You can review that post in the link below. Seems some folks in Connecticut have caught my Blog Post and have seen the potential to construct a new Service Plaza closer to the RI State Line More Interstate Traveler Dollars Heading South…
      Take a gander
      http://www.redneckrepublic.org/2013/12/09/rhode-islands-next-big-idea-even-bigger-than-calamari/

      Much Obliged
      Respectfully,
      Tony Santos