Hawley Applauds Medicaid Inspector Agreement

Taxpayer savings could reach millions
June 22, 2006

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) today expressed his support for a bipartisan agreement reached by the Assembly and state Senate to establish the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General. Hawley believes New York taxpayers would save millions of dollars in recovered fraud, waste, and abuse that has been costing the state over $4.5 billion annually.

As part of the agreement, the Senate majority withdrew their requirement to make the position a five-year term, while the Assembly majority abandoned their demand to allow individuals to file private lawsuits against perpetrators of Medicaid fraud if the state wouldn’t pursue cases.

Since his election to the state Assembly, Hawley has been a vocal advocate for legislation to lower taxes and limit the size of government. “On paper, this is an important bill for the money it will save taxpayers,” said Hawley. “But beyond that, this also shows the people of New York state that we can come together and put partisan politics aside in the interest of good policy and positive change.”

Hawley points to statistics showing New York ranks first nationally in money spent on the Medicaid program and last in recovered fraud expenditures. Hawley said the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General would begin changing these “outrageous” statistics.

“Western New Yorkers have been asking for tax relief and changes in the way Albany does business,” said Hawley. “This makes it clear that we can act as catalysts for change and pass good legislation that serves to benefit all people statewide.”