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JACKSON, Miss. – State Auditor Shad White has issued the following statement:
“Last year, we released an audit that compared the income people claimed when they applied to be on Medicaid versus what they made according to their state income tax return. I pointed out at the time that there were ‘two individuals who own multi-million dollar homes and declared high incomes on their most recent tax returns, but also receive Medicaid benefits.
The ACLU and other groups called me and my team every name in the book for this audit. When I personally told the head of the ACLU about people lying to get on Medicaid, he said ‘That’s not happening.’ They fought me when I wanted access to state income tax returns. The Southern Poverty Law Center said I was ‘misleading’ people. The Mississippi Center for Justice said Medicaid was working just fine.
Yesterday, federal prosecutors announced two Mississippians—who ‘own a five-bedroom 7,850 square foot home located in Madison, Mississippi, most recently valued at 1.3 million dollars’—are being forced to repay $130,000 to Medicaid. The prosecutors say they ‘falsely represented’ their income and that they own or are associated with 48 convenience stores. This, of course, shows that my team’s work was valid and that the groups who criticized our work were wrong.
I don’t expect an apology to my auditors from these groups. The groups would never let the facts get in the way of their narrative. But I do want taxpayers to know we’re watching, and we will not be bullied by these groups. The purpose of our audit was to ensure only the people who are actually eligible for Medicaid are allowed to be on Medicaid, and we will keep doing that work.
The Auditor’s office does not have the authority to prosecute its own cases, so I’m grateful to the federal prosecutors who are pursuing cases like this.”
Click here to see the full statement from federal authorities on the case.
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