Opinion

Reporter chases bureaucrat: Dogs her about fraud until she relents

Kind of nice to see what happens when the media does its job.

A dogged, yearlong investigation by CNN and The Center for Investigative Reporting has spurred action in Sacramento to get to the bottom of how up to half of the $186 million California has spent in the past two fiscal years has gone to contractors with questionable billing practices or rife with “signs of fraud.”

califfraudAccording to CNN, the state’s California Department of Health and Human Services has been paying millions in taxpayer dollars to people in jail, to people who are dead, to clinics that billed for services on days they are closed and to felons from other states running drug rehabilitation clinics in the Golden State.

The CNN story is centered on $94 million federal taxpayers were cheated out of by incompetence or corruption in California’s Department of Health and Human Services.

And that’s just the Drug Medi-Cal Program, part of a sprawling agency with 13 departments and a budget of nearly $46 billion. It’s the nation’s largest Medicaid program.

In pursuit of the story, CNN reporter Drew Griffin finally tracked down California HHS Secretary Diana Dooley, who finally had to face the camera after first seeking refuge at a restroom door.

She pleaded she had no time to speak because she was on her way to a meeting to discuss the agency’s budget, the same budget being bilked out of millions in fraud.

But after the confrontation, California announced a wide-ranging investigation into clinic billing, an investigation that might not have happened without the journalism on exhibit here.

Check out the video below and ask yourself two questions:

One: If this is the kind of fraud we’re seeing now in California, even before the obscene amounts of money generated by Obamacare’s individual mandate extortion are floating around an unaccountable system, what will the future look like?

Two: Can we imagine the White House cheerleaders in the Washington press corps doing this kind of job — a yearlong investigation full of hostile on-camera interviews — with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius or her minions?

The first answer is unknowable.

The second is simply, “no.”

 

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