In an attempt to provide evidence of widespread welfare fraud in Maine, a so-called “citizen-journalist,” James O’Keefe, used an actor to apply for Medicaid while claiming he had a “cash business” and owned a boat and Corvette.
At a news conference in which a short version of the video was released, the group claimed that it showed “shocking” evidence of the “potential of fraud.”
In fact, the longer version, showed a state employee telling the actor that she could not help him. Later, a supervisor accused the man of being evasive.
According to a story in the Portland Press Herald —
. . .the worker also repeatedly tells the actor, who speaks with an Irish accent, that she cannot help him fill out his application until he presents photo identification, a passport or naturalization papers. She also repeatedly tries to get him to apply for insurance through Dirigo Health, which offers subsidized insurance but would require him to pay a premium.
The DHHS worker also consults her supervisor, who questions the applicant and tells him that he is being evasive.
It’s worth noting that Tea Party GOP Governor Paul LePage campaigned on a promise to eradicate widespread welfare fraud in the state of Maine. What was supposed to be a justification for more stringent measures to curb fraud, actually proved the opposite: state welfare employees were shown upholding welfare policies and procedures. The actor in the sting never came close to actually getting Medicaid benefits. Even LePage had to admit: “no fraud occurred.”