atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4202: $12 million in medicare for dead people!

Borepatch links the story which I've seen several places, and he talks about how government programs are designed to maximize the number of recipients of their largesse, even if said recipients don't really qualify for one reason or another. As long as the bureaucracy doesn't notice the disqualifying factors, the checks will continue.

That's really the hardest part of being on the dole: making sure the bureaucrats don't find out you're not actually disabled (eg someone catches you lifting weights at the gym, when you're supposed to be virtually immobilized by a bad back), or somehow ending up on a review list which prompts the bureaucracy to discover that you've got an extra car and too much in your savings account. Of course, if you're lucky, they'll just fine you and not cut off your benefits, but they always have the option.

But since the purpose of the machine is to disburse government cheese irrespective of government's income the review process is random and only a very slender minority of recipients are ever audited, so an individual's chances of having his case file reviewed are very slim. (Unless, of course, the government is tipped off.)

...which is why Illinois spent $12 million providing medicaid benefits to dead people. Most of the time the medicaid office is notified when a recipient dies (especially if he dies in a hospital) but when it's not, the checks continue to flow until and unless someone notices: "Hey, Herb died four years ago; why are we still getting insulin and syringes?" More often than not, then, someone has to work very hard, and for no pay, to shut off the flow of free cheese, because the bureaucracy won't just take your word for it that your mother died six years ago and hasn't used so much as one of the colostomy bags the medical supply company insists on sending to her house every third month, even after you've made multiple attempts to get them to stop.

It's inefficient, but that's government for you.

* * *

Firebirds #1 and #2 found in a barn in Connecticut. Now just watch GM sue to get them back, even though the cars were built by "old GM" which is a bankrupt corpse.

These were the first two Firebirds ever built on the assembly line. (The first comment says that the cars weren't hand-built prototypes, and I find that believable since they had VIN plates; all production cars get a plate but prototypes and test mules generally do not.)

Worth $650,000? Somehow I doubt it, but then "the value of a thing is the price that thing will bring at market" and someone was willing to pay $650,000 for the damned things, so WTF.

* * *

Speaking of which, I've got to get the jon boat out of the damned yard. First step will be to powerwash the damned thing and make it look halfway decent, then get some pics and throw 'er up on Craigslist. Whee!

I'm also hoping that this'll be the year to finish getting the garage cleaned out. We'll see how that goes.

* * *

It was a nice day today, if a bit chilly. It's not going to be above 60 until Thursday. Oh well!

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