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Lakewood, NJ - Medicaid Fraud Amnesty Program Criticized; Meeting Attracts Few

Published on: September 13, 2017 08:47 AM
By: AP
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Lakewood, NJ - New Jersey officials faced criticism of a program that allows residents of one county who received unwarranted Medicaid benefits to withdraw without prosecution.

Authorities had hoped Ocean County residents who would benefit from the program would attend the seminar held Tuesday night in Toms River. But the Asbury Park Press (http://on.app.com/2xZfGJr  ) reports about three dozen people showed up and accused officials of going soft on crime.

Resident Molly Hernon says she and other residents grilled state Comptroller Phillip Degnan on the merits of the pilot program. She says people are getting away with taxpayer money.

The 90-day program comes after 26 Lakewood residents in June were accused of wrongfully collecting more than $2 million in public-assistance benefits. However, the program is not open to them.

The information session on Tuesday night wasn’t mandatory for people who want to come clean, but authorities had braced for a much bigger turnout, holding the meeting in the large multi-purpose arena.

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Authorities said they have reason to believe the program will be popular. Lakewood officials have been deluged with calls for help from hundreds of concerned residents wanting to terminate their benefits because they were concerned about the possibility of being arrested.
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Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com 

 

 



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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 13, 2017 at 09:50 AM Heeb Says:

Ellul.....ay yay ay....ellul....mi darf tshuvah torn......ellul....!!!!

2

 Sep 13, 2017 at 10:35 AM Educated Archy Says:

I hope they go after the Latino's who earn cash yet collect governement programs for their children as well.

I would hope there is no racial profiling thereby only targeting jews.

3

 Sep 13, 2017 at 11:22 AM Taxbucky Says:

Totally understand the low turnout
For various reasons ( shidduch and just simple embarrassment) no one wants to be seen at an amnesty convention

4

 Sep 13, 2017 at 12:18 PM georgeg Says:

> She says people are getting away with taxpayer money.

Other media report that those already arrested are not eligible. The so-called amnesty (available only to those not already arrested) involves full restitution plus a civil penalty (a "fine") as well as a full year withdrawal from the Medicaid programs. This saves the taxpayer the costs of investigations and trial while being more than reimbursed for any alleged taxpayer money.

5

 Sep 13, 2017 at 12:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Do the people who ask about amnesty regret stealing or are they just afraid of the consequences. Oy vey!

6

 Sep 13, 2017 at 12:52 PM Taxbucky Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Do the people who ask about amnesty regret stealing or are they just afraid of the consequences. Oy vey!

they regret getting caught. they knew they were stealing

7

 Sep 13, 2017 at 01:00 PM MyThreeCents Says:

I really wonder if these people actually did anything wrong. I personally couldn't get on Medicaid, although I've tried because I earn "too much" and I really don't earn enough to live on and be able to afford health insurance. I haven't had health insurance for 20 years because I can't afford it and I am too "well off" to get Medicaid!

8

 Sep 13, 2017 at 01:06 PM Reb Yid Says:

The amnesty is a scam. They have to pay loads of money, plus they open themselves to prosecution by the IRS and NJ tax man.

9

 Sep 13, 2017 at 03:44 PM Anonymous Says:

I am rabidly anti all the genaiva and lying but the government puts people into terrible positions. Health insurance costs crazy amounts and if someone is all legal and on the books between the taxes they pay and the cost of health insurance many people literally would have no money left to spend on daily expenses such as food. The goverment makes it not worth it to work and certainly very tempting to work off the books. I know many people who don't work because then they would lose their programs and they can't make enough to make it worth it. As someone who both husband and wife work and still barely make ends meet it is very discouraging. The government needs to wake up and do something to fix the situation!!!!

10

 Sep 13, 2017 at 03:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
MyThreeCents Says:

I really wonder if these people actually did anything wrong. I personally couldn't get on Medicaid, although I've tried because I earn "too much" and I really don't earn enough to live on and be able to afford health insurance. I haven't had health insurance for 20 years because I can't afford it and I am too "well off" to get Medicaid!

Yes, they did something wrong.

11

 Sep 13, 2017 at 04:17 PM The Professor Says:

Reply to #8  
Reb Yid Says:

The amnesty is a scam. They have to pay loads of money, plus they open themselves to prosecution by the IRS and NJ tax man.

Are you suggesting that they should still try to fly under the radar, keep collecting, and eventually get caught with much heavier penalties, including jail? Or is jail just another form of entitlement - while you are a "guest" there, you get three hots and a cot?

12

 Sep 13, 2017 at 05:57 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

I am rabidly anti all the genaiva and lying but the government puts people into terrible positions. Health insurance costs crazy amounts and if someone is all legal and on the books between the taxes they pay and the cost of health insurance many people literally would have no money left to spend on daily expenses such as food. The goverment makes it not worth it to work and certainly very tempting to work off the books. I know many people who don't work because then they would lose their programs and they can't make enough to make it worth it. As someone who both husband and wife work and still barely make ends meet it is very discouraging. The government needs to wake up and do something to fix the situation!!!!

Yup and The ACA exaspertaed the probelm. Its about dishing goodies to the poor and low middle income. if you earn above 75k gross you are rich in their eyes.

13

 Sep 13, 2017 at 08:22 PM reply to #9 Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

I am rabidly anti all the genaiva and lying but the government puts people into terrible positions. Health insurance costs crazy amounts and if someone is all legal and on the books between the taxes they pay and the cost of health insurance many people literally would have no money left to spend on daily expenses such as food. The goverment makes it not worth it to work and certainly very tempting to work off the books. I know many people who don't work because then they would lose their programs and they can't make enough to make it worth it. As someone who both husband and wife work and still barely make ends meet it is very discouraging. The government needs to wake up and do something to fix the situation!!!!

The bottom line;
The system is broken but that does not justify fraud or stealing.
Talk about tempting? I am very tempted when I pass a frum gourmet chocolate shop that actually accepts food stamps. I am also astounded by gourmet chocolate bars in frum stores with prices of $5 when other bars are $1. I buy the $1 because I have to pay, no free ride.
I shop in general supermarkets and sometimes see non Jews buying basic, healthy foods. I also shop in major frum supermarkets and see wagons full of nosh. At least I would understand cheap kosher rnosh but these days a lot of it is imported and costly. These wagon loads are paid by the U.S. Government.

By the way, I used to drink a lot of Coca Cola that was made in the USA. It is a luxury item but many people currently use Israeli Coke or Pepsi.

14

 Sep 13, 2017 at 08:29 PM Jail not free Says:

Reply to #11  
The Professor Says:

Are you suggesting that they should still try to fly under the radar, keep collecting, and eventually get caught with much heavier penalties, including jail? Or is jail just another form of entitlement - while you are a "guest" there, you get three hots and a cot?

Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe jail is not free. If the guest has assets they are used to pay the costs involved.
An exception is if the person has no assets and has an expensive, treatable medical need. I have read of people getting arrested in order to get treatment for Hepatitis C which is a very costly drug.

15

 Sep 14, 2017 at 12:57 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Educated Archy Says:

Yup and The ACA exaspertaed the probelm. Its about dishing goodies to the poor and low middle income. if you earn above 75k gross you are rich in their eyes.

Not rich, just earning more than half the population in our country.

16

 Sep 14, 2017 at 06:39 AM Hirsh Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

I am rabidly anti all the genaiva and lying but the government puts people into terrible positions. Health insurance costs crazy amounts and if someone is all legal and on the books between the taxes they pay and the cost of health insurance many people literally would have no money left to spend on daily expenses such as food. The goverment makes it not worth it to work and certainly very tempting to work off the books. I know many people who don't work because then they would lose their programs and they can't make enough to make it worth it. As someone who both husband and wife work and still barely make ends meet it is very discouraging. The government needs to wake up and do something to fix the situation!!!!

Yes I totally agree as both me and my spouse work full time jobs and earn well over 200k and still don't make ends meet.
As a earner on the books I am not eligible for any government programs.
With costs Astronomical, we struggle! It's a very tuff decision to make for someone to come clean as it ain't easy!

17

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