Makin babies, gettin's the American way!

An interesting article in today’s Detroit News:

Twenty-three Arab women were charged with fraud by giving birth to children in Michigan using Medicaid, returning to their home country, and repeating the cycle each time they got pregnant, Attorney General Mike Cox said Wednesday.

More women may be charged in the next few weeks.

The women – originally from Lebanon, Syria and Yemen – and 34 children are all out of the United States now, and their names will be turned over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It’s unclear if they will face extradition, said Cox’s spokesman Sage Eastman. When they were in Michigan, 22 lived in Dearborn and one in Taylor.

“There’s a possibility that (the cases) may be difficult to follow up on,” Eastman said. “We charge based on the fact that Medicaid was defrauded.”

The total fraud was $150,000.

The felony charges carry up to four years in jail and a $50,000 fine.

Fraud applies because the application for emergency Medicaid required the women to become permanent residents. But their visitor visas indicated they intended to return to their native country, which they did soon after giving birth. Because they were born here, all the children are U.S. citizens.

“The bottom line is protecting the Medicaid program and ensuring that the dollars are available for the ones who truly need it,” Eastman said. “Our case alleges that these are individuals who came to the state and fraudulently applied, then returned to their native state.”

It’s unclear whether the women knew each other, but they all used the same organization to apply for Medicaid. Eastman refused to name the organization and said that “other avenues” are still under investigation and more charges may follow.

Ironically, though, had the women stayed and become permanent residents as directed, they would have been eligible for at least as much, if not more, aid. Most legal immigrants and visitors – even tourists – are eligible for emergency Medicaid.

“There’s no difference, no difference whatsoever in what they are eligible for,” said Maureen Taylor, director of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. “So what’s the purpose of going after the women?”

It’s amazing the number of hands that get stuck out when you say you’re giving away things to ‘needy’ people. I knew they came from accross state lines, but this is ridiculous.

You’d think Medicaid would check their Visas. I’m not sure what the story is here.

the story is whether or not this ‘system’ is widespread. I’d doubt it’s an isolated incident. The greater a handout program becomes, the greater it will be abused by those that are not truly in need.

This is why I’m against government sponsored welfare. There’s no accountability. At least with ‘faith based’ charities and private charity groups, there is a more personal relationship and a vested interest in actually helping the needy become self reliant.

Government bureaucracy only serves to perpetuate iteself and grow, thereby validating it’s own existence. No matter what the manifestation of purpose of the program may be, once it’s entrenched, it can never be undone.

The same way rich people abuse the tax system through deductions and re-classifying income as capital gains?

WTF does this have to do with giving money away to people who don’t earn it?

People paying lower taxes is not the same as paying people for being needy. You must think that lowering the budget increase for a government program is a budget cut too?

Let me guess, you were imma commie veritas from the democrat school of rhetoric?

And i’m fuzzy on how claiming deductions is subversion and how to claim other sources of income as capital gain income. …perhaps you can enlighten me with your liberal economic wizardry and tell me that if I paid all my income as tax, then the world would be a happier place.

Do you have any idea what the estimated tax avoidance rate is for rich people? It’s huge.

Perhaps if they lowered the tax rate further, they would get more compliance.

bmug, trying to debate logic with Jason is like trying to get a horse to talk.

Good luck tho.

well at least I can get him to talk out of his ass…

So what you’re saying is that emergency medicaid should be refused to women about to give birth?

Why yes! The lives of the lazy poor are as nothing compared to the sweetness of money that has been earned! A little death should teach them that.

[size=1]Early, no coffee yet, etc. [/size]

What he is pointing out is how the system is abused regularly. I’ll still never understand why bleeding heart liberals thinking “helping” the needy means just giving them some money. Shouldn’t they be taught skills so they can make their own money? The argument is to elevate them out of poverty, which in turn helps the economy; yet giving them a handout doesn’t get them out of poverty. Maybe long enough for them to go out and grab a 40oz.

When rich conservatives abuse the system they’re evil and taking away from a giving government trying to support the needy. When needy poor abuse the system they’re winning a victory against an evil government trying to deprive them of tax cuts going to the rich.

Keep scoring those logic points, champs.

Pardon? Isn’t that exactly what this thread is about? Money being given away to people who didn’t earn it and don’t need it? Jason isn’t out of line to point out that there’s far more money being lost in welfare for the rich than in social programs for the poor. They both get gamed. They both need to be adequetely policed, so that they can no longer be gamed. It’s only logical, however, to start with the system that drains exponentially more money from our coffers.

He wasn’t pointing out welfare for the rich, only that they don’t pay their fair share.

It’s only logical, however, to start with the system that drains exponentially more money from our coffers.

and how exactly do we tell which one is the bigger money sink?

That’s a fascinating point, unfortunately completely irrelevant to the “should we help delivering babies even though they’re poor”-issue.

It’s a difficult moral dilema. Doctors cannot refuse to help. Hospitals are required by law to help. Unfortunately, when you institute programs to pay for the ‘help’ you get more than just the needy showing up to reap the benefits. At least these people are being prosecuted and some of the cost will be recouped (minus the cost of the government’s prosecution, i’m sure).

And perhaps if there was no hand out program, there would be no incentive to abuse the system. What’s wrong with having to pay for your heathcare? Hospitals have payment programs. It may be tough, it may take a long period of time but the debt can be paid off. What ever happened to family, friends, neighbors, community, church. All of these things could help alleviate the problems of the ‘poor’ much more personally, directly, and give people a sense of responsibility for their debt instead of “oh, well, the government’s paying for it so who cares”.

It’s jasons ‘free rider’ program taken to the extreme. Why don’t we just have a global healthcare system?

What’s wrong?

Well there’s the whole ethical dilemma of letting people die because they can’t afford treatment. Since words like solidarity, fairness and equal opportunities are lost at you I don’t think I want to pursue this discussion much further.

then don’t. Who said anything about dying? Great use of hyperbole. and get this one straight, i’ll reiterate because you are not an american-- No one is refused heathcare in america. Doctors take this oath, you see to do no harm. I dunno if they have that practice in your country. There are also laws prohibiting hospitals from denying emergency care. The point is more than just needy people are using and abusing so perhaps we should examine the structure of automatic handouts for all things ‘needed’.

you don’t need to go to a hospital to have a baby. It’s been done for millions of years without a doctor’s help. You can even stay in your own country instead of coming to the american birthing country club for a few days every other year.

No one is refused healthcare in America? Once again, what planet are you from? Just let your insurance run out and you’ll see.

Emergency care is free in America, yes. Other forms of care are not. There are plenty of diseases, genetical conditions and other things that will kill you if you do not recieve treatment for them, treatment that is not covered under emergency care.