Privatization Of State-Run Medical Programs Under Walker Wastes Money, Cuts Coverage

Monday, June 4, 2012

Call it the cost of ideological governance:

An audit of state-run medical-care programming has found waste, oversight absence and no-bid contracting that forced people off the rolls after Walker privatized the programs' administration.

An analysis of the audit (link to its pdf is included) finds:
An audit of the state Medical Assistance Program(full report linked) conducted by the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau was completed in December 2011. The 100-page report was highly critical of the Department of Health Services’ unauthorized expansion of no-bid contracts, and lack of transparency in accounting practices.

On March 30, 2012 DHS Secretary Dennis Smith sent a letter to Joint Finance Committee Chairs Alberta Darling and Robin Vos summarizing cost savings necessary to fill a $204.3 million deficit in the “All Funds” budget.

In the letter, Smith outlines cost saving measures the department will have to take – including Federal waivers to make cuts to Badger Care Plus, Childless Adult Special Terms and Conditions, Medicaid, and “the Departments’ Family Care sustainability plan.” All of these measures will result in dropping people off these programs during their greatest time of need – in a stagnant state economy with a long-term unemployment problem.

The audit is a clear demonstration that the Walker Administration’s push to privatize DHS services is leading to cost overruns, unauthorized no-bid contract expansion, and lack of legislative oversight. All of these spending issues more than make up for the funds necessary to bring the Medical Assistance (MA) program into the black – without cutting services.

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