Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Faulty math makes Medicaid look wasteful

Various Virginia newspapers, and the Washington Post, reported this week that the General Assembly's staff found an estimated $21 million to $38 million was paid on the bills of Virginia Medicaid clients who weren't eligible for that help. Let's suppose that the $38 million estimate here was correct. In the $8 billion Medicaid program that would still be an error rate of less than one percent. Does your neighborhood gas pump or the supermarket butcher deliver at that degree of accuracy? That one percent says nothing about the desirability of Medicaid. 

It seems to me that the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission has simply proven that the General Assembly was penny-wise and pound-foolish in cutting the $4 million that the governor requested for administering Medicaid. To save that $4 million, they spent from five to nearly ten times as much of taxpayer funds that could have and should have gone to buy medical care for needy Virginians. What kind of math are they practicing down at the General Assembly?