An excerpt from Growing Iowa's Economy - A Blueprint for Free-Market Solutions
In Iowa, Medicaid is not only one of the most significant drivers of the budget but also one of the fastest growing. Medicaid is a shared expense between states and the federal government, but recent policies on the national level, especially the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, have led to an expansion in recipients.
Iowa needs to audit its Medicaid program to ensure Iowans who truly need the services are protected and have access to funds, as well as confirm that taxpayer dollars are not needlessly spent on those who don’t actually qualify. Several states have conducted audits of their respective Medicaid programs, and the results confirm that abuse is occurring within their systems. Some audit findings from those states include:
Two additional states have found savings eclipsing $100 million in their Medicaid systems. In March of 2019, Oregon announced that a Medicaid audit would save the state over $100 million annually by ending improper payments to people who didn’t qualify for the program. The North Carolina State Auditor reported that the Department of Health and Human Services improperly paid more than $100 million in Medicaid claims, which included overpayments to providers and benefits to ineligible recipients.
Other social support programs beyond Medicaid, including food stamps (SNAP), should receive greater scrutiny through verification requirements to ensure only the people who truly qualify for support are receiving government assistance.
Iowa should also consider work requirements. Those who are on Medicaid and who can work should be required to do so. Intelligently-crafted work requirements have led many people out of poverty and back into the workforce, breaking the cycle of government dependency.
Enhanced program integrity and work requirements for those who are able can combine to make a real difference in the financial futures of many, while also supplying Iowa with a larger labor force.