Government aid doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to. Foster care agencies team up with companies to take disability and survivor benefits from abused and neglected children. States and their revenue consultants use illusory schemes to siphon Medicaid funds intended for children and the poor into general state coffers. Child support payments for foster children and families on public assistance are converted into government revenue. And the poverty industry keeps expanding, leaving us with nursing homes and juvenile detention centers that sedate residents to reduce costs and maximize profit, local governments buying nursing homes to take the facilities’ federal aid while the elderly languish with poor care, and counties hiring companies to mine the poor for additional funds in modern day debtor’s prisons.

In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America’s most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue.

A new study finds that New York has made significant progress in getting Hispanic children enrolled for health insurance.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

New York officials say $7.3 billion is going to 25 networks of health care providers statewide to help overhaul the delivery of care and cut unneeded hospital visits. Meanwhile, state health officials say average spending for the state's Medicaid patients has declined to $8,233 annually while enrollments rose by 500,000 to nearly one-third of the state's 19 million people.   


  Between November 1963, when he became president, and November 1966, when his party was routed in the midterm elections, Lyndon Johnson spearheaded the most transformative agenda in American political history since the New Deal.

In just three years, Johnson drove the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts; the War on Poverty program; Medicare and Medicaid; the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities; Public Broadcasting; immigration liberalization; a raft of consumer and environmental protection acts; and major federal investments in public transportation.

Collectively, this group of achievements was labeled by Johnson and his team the “Great Society.” In his new book, The Fierce Urgency of Now, Princeton Professor of History Julian Zelizer looks at the full story.

People on Medicare are being urged to look over their current health and prescription coverage and consider whether changes should be made. The latest open enrollment period began Wednesday and will continue until Dec. 7. For more on open enrollment, WAMC spoke with Ray Hurd, regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Regions 1 and 2, which includes New England, New York and New Jersey.

Some Vermont legal advocates say they are worried that new health care rules will make some people ineligible for long-term care under Medicaid.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

The state of Vermont ranks fifth in the nation in the percentage of Medicaid long-term care spending that allows the disabled to live in their homes and communities.

Samuels: Medicaid Reform Needed From Albany

Apr 25, 2014

For years, county officials across New York have been calling on state leaders in Albany to give them relief from the mandates that are handed down from the state capitol and Medicaid reform is often at the top of the list of those mandates. The latest call for Medicaid relief comes from Bill Samuels, a New York City businessman, political activist and founder of the group Effective NY, which has been critical of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s policies.

Feds Urge More Talks On NY Medicaid Application

Jan 27, 2014

New York has revised its request for a $10 billion dollar Medicaid adjustment, which would allow using that money to pay for related health care programs, after federal officials concluded capital investment and some other programs are ineligible.

The application was first filed 18 months ago, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state health commissioner to publicly blame the delay for threatening financially distressed New York hospitals.

Schumer: Ambulance Funding Threatened

Dec 12, 2013

New York Senator Charles Schumer warns that ambulance crews are threatened with the loss of critical funding.

At stake is $40 million in Medicaid payments statewide used to pay for ambulance services. He says that critical funding will expire Jan. 1 if Congress doesn't act first.

The Democrat says that without action, urban ambulances will lose 2 percent of their federal funding and rural services will lose 3 percent.

Schumer says ambulance crews say the funding is vital. He is proposing a five-year extension of the funding.

Study Shows NY Spending For Inmate Health Care Up

Oct 30, 2013

A new study on rising prison health care costs shows New York 13th among states in spending for inmate care.

The study by The Pew Charitable Trusts and MacArthur Foundation, examining costs from 2001 to 2008, shows New York spending rose 33 percent to nearly $5,900 for a prisoner's medical care in 2008.

That distantly followed California's $11,800 cost per inmate, up 84 percent, and New Hampshire's 306 percent increase to more than $9,000.

A recent audit by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli detailed a deteriorating financial condition in Saratoga County due in part to increasing costs at a subsidized nursing home.

The audit released by the Comptroller’s office found that between January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012, Saratoga County’s general fund balance decreased 41 percent, from $24.7 million to $10.3 million.

The cause to blame? The increased costs of running Maplewood Manor – a subsidized nursing home facility.

In a few short months, Americans who need health insurance will be able to obtain it.  They will either get it from the government – through programs like Medicare or Medicaid, from their employers, or purchase it themselves from health marketplaces, known as health benefit exchanges.


MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont House has given final approval to a mid-fiscal-year budget adjustment that takes savings from Medicaid and uses the money to address other growing demands in human services.

The biggest new line item is more than $4.5 million for the ReachUp program, which helps people move from welfare to work. Others are $3.2 million for child development and about $2 million each for general assistance and mental health.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his office recovered more than $335 million last year from Medicaid fraud and abuse. 

The total, including $146 million from a multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, is the second highest annual recovery by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The highest court in Massachusetts has upheld the dismissal of lawsuits filed by seven Massachusetts hospitals and a managed healthcare organization that claimed they were shortchanged by the state's 2006 health care law. 

In two separate lawsuits, Boston Medical Center and the other hospitals claimed that the state had violated its obligation to reimburse them for the reasonable costs incurred in providing medical services to MassHealth enrollees.

The Federal Government is ordering New York Counties to give back Nursing Home money... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided to retroactively recover “Intergovernmental Transfer” or IGT funds from several New York counties going back to State fiscal year 2006-07. The net effect statewide is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $7.2 million dollars.


In Eastern New York, Albany county tops the list, owing $3.7 million... followed by Westchester at $2.1 million and Ulster, $1.5 million...