As may have been expected, criticism of the state’s safety net programs seemed to be a political maneuver aimed to justifying a refusal to expand Medicaid in Montana.
The panel featured three witnesses testifying before two house subcommittees. One chaired by Art Wittich, the other by Hamilton’s own Ron Ehli. Throughout the meetings, the panel offered anecdotes they had heard around the office about possible fraud within the system.
When pressed however, they offered no proof of any kind. No case numbers. No dates. Nothing. When asked if any of those cases had been referred to the fraud investigation unit, their best response was, “We’re sure some of them were.” Again, since they didn’t deal with any of these cases themselves, they couldn’t really answer.
I’ve never seen a group so unprepared for offering testimony. They had no documented examples of fraud within the system. They had no first-hand examples even, just stories they’d been told by coworkers with no information about how the case ended up.
It’s pretty clear this hearing, with the subpoenas and everything, was all an act of political theater. It was held for no other reason to demean the poor as cheaters and unworthy of our support. On MLK Jr. Day no less.
You get what you vote for I guess… it’s just a shame we have to pay for it.