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As I See It

Cracking down on fraud pays off in Wisconsin



Good news for Wisconsin taxpayers. The state of Wisconsin has been much more diligent about cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse. And those efforts are paying off, to the tune of millions of dollars. In the four years since Governor Scott Walker created the Office of Inspector General, the amount of money saved by more aggressively working to detect fraud in the Medicaid and food stamp programs has increased by 80%, to $26.5 million last year. That sharp increase didn’t happen by accident. The number of staff devoted to detecting fraud was increased from just one person to 24. And the state wisely stopped sending unlimited replacement Food Share cards to those who claimed they lost them. They thinking is those cards weren’t really lost, they were being sold on the black market. Yet the state kept replacing them. No more. The state started sending notices to those who claimed they kept losing their benefit cards, warning them of the penalties for misuse. Not surprisingly, the number seeking replacement cards dropped from more than 12,000 to just 800 within six months. It is shameful that there is this much fraud, but it is good that the state was able to detect such instances. This is something that all of us should be able to agree on.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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