Audit shows state gave Medicaid to illegal aliens


Men cross from Mexico into the United States.

America has always been a nation that welcomed immigrants, who often worked very hard to establish a life for themselves and their children. But in Massachusetts the welfare state keeps growing and growing to aid illegal immigrants despite federal deficits and debt and the burden on state and federal taxpayers, a December audit shows.

Massachusetts reportedly spent $35 million on undocumented aliens—including dental services, physical therapy and prescription drugs—through its healthcare program for low-income people, despite federal and state prohibitions.

A published investigation by Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump discovered prohibited or questionable medical claims of $35,137,347 were paid by MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid agency, including non-emergency services.

The audit shows that out of the more than $10.8 billion MassHealth provides for 1.4 million legal residents, the more than $35 million went to illegals: $27.8 million for outpatient and inpatient treatment, $1.7 million for dental services, $1.9 million for rehabilitation and physical therapy, and $3.6 million for prescription medications.

Federal and state taxpayers fund the program and both federal and state laws forbid payments to illegal aliens for non-emergency services.

The probe from July 2011 to December 2012 showed that MassHealth officials apparently were aware they were using their own interpretations of state and federal regulations for the funding, Bump said. “In the course of the audit we saw that MassHealth regularly substituted its own judgment for that of the medical professional in determining whether to cover a service,” she said in reporting her findings. “Based on our understanding of the plain language in the regulations, MassHealth Limited is paying for ineligible services, and the tab is costly.”