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SSC


Admin
If that is the way it works, yes, hope they come up with several thousand Dr. and companies just don't pay the 2000.00 penalty and not carry it, it would be much more comforting if the senators, congress fed employees and the president and family and unions and the other millions that were made exempt from this coverage all had it, makes you feel it has a flaw somewhere.

SSC


Admin
USDA targets food-stamp fraud with state effort
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/usda-targets-food-stamp-fraud-with-state-effort/2012/05/28/gJQAfuwdyU_story.html

By Sam Hananel, Published: May 29The Washington Post Some food stamp recipients are ripping off the government for millions of dollars by illegally selling their benefit cards for cash — sometimes even in the open, on eBay or Craigslist — and then asking the government for replacement cards.

The Agriculture Department wants to curb the practice by giving states more power to investigate people who repeatedly claim to lose their benefit cards. It is proposing new rules that would allow states to demand formal explanations from people who seek replacement cards more than three times a year. Those who do not comply may be denied replacement cards.

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Weigh InCorrections?Recommend Tweet Personal Post .“Up to this point, the states’ hands have been tied unless they absolutely suspected fraudulent activity,” said Kevin Concannon, the department’s undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services.

Food stamp fraud costs taxpayers about $750 million a year, or 1 percent of the $75 billion program that makes up the bulk of the department’s budget for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Most fraud occurs when unscrupulous retailers allow customers to turn in their benefit cards for lesser amounts of cash. But the USDA is also concerned about people selling or trading their cards in the open market, including through Web sites.

Last year, the department sent letters urging eBay and Craigslist to notify customers that it’s illegal to buy and sell food stamps. USDA officials followed up last month, saying they are still getting complaints about people using the Web sites to illegally market food stamps.

Both eBay and Craigslist have told the government that they are actively reviewing their sites for illegal activity and will take down ads offering food stamp benefits for cash. The USDA also has warned Facebook and Twitter about the practice.

South Dakota, Oklahoma, the District, Minnesota and Washington state have the highest percentage of recipients seeking four or more replacement cards over a year. But USDA officials said that doesn’t necessarily indicate a high rate of fraud. All states are required by law to reissue lost or stolen cards to those who are eligible for benefits.

Wyoming, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Alabama have the lowest percentage of households requesting four or more cards in a 12-month period.

North Carolina issues warning letters to people who request four replacement cards in a year, letting them know that officials are monitoring them. Dean Simpson, chief of economic family services for the North Carolina Division of Social Services, said the new USDA rules would give her state even more of a boost in curbing food stamp fraud.

“I think it would help with the trafficking and let individuals know they are being observed and watched,” said Simpson, who oversees the state’s distribution of food stamps.

More than 46 million people receive food stamps, nearly half of them children. The average monthly benefit is $132 per person.

Benefit cards work like debit cards; users swipe them for food purchases at about 231,000 stores around the country that are authorized to take part in the food stamp program. Once a card is reported lost or stolen, it can be disabled immediately. The USDA does not require photo identification, since several members of a family, including children, may use the cards at different times.

Concannon said that the USDA wants to be sensitive to vulnerable people who might lose their cards for innocent reasons. While it might sound suspicious for someone to lose a card two or three times a year, food stamp recipients include many people who are homeless or have dementia or mental illness, he said.

“Our concern is that in many instances, it may point to a trafficking issue,” he said.

Last year, about 850,000 people were investigated for possible food stamp fraud. About 2,000 stores were sanctioned for illegal conduct, and 1,200 stores were permanently removed from the food stamp program.

Large supermarkets are seldom involved in illegal activity, Concannon said. The vast majority of fraud is found in smaller shops and convenience stores.

The USDA is developing tougher sanctions and penalties for retailers engaging in food stamp fraud. It is also taking steps to make sure that people disqualified from the program for illegal activity are not able to use it again in other states.

— Associated Press

gypsy


Moderator
typical repub thinking,always negative, does not improve anything, but if the repub congress would do something instead of whining and crying we would be in the right track..Repubs never look at the improvements for the working, and poor people, the wealthy and the corps are what they back, just like they do the big insurance companies.

in answer to previous, post. 1% fraud!! whoohoo that is scary

SSC


Admin
1% of $780,000,000 is a scary and wasteful number, nothing to laugh about, when your benefits and medical expenses go up to cover this . Think about it.

gypsy


Moderator
They don't go up under the affordable health care act.

Also the biggest food stamp/welfare users are the republican red states
that consists of mostly southern and mid west states

SSC


Admin
yep we loves our food stamps down here, always Republican, never bipartisan, a prime example of the bias and strife this country is in.

gypsy


Moderator

why do you think Southerns vote republican,?? I thin, they think they will become rich if they vote republican.proof is in the many year's(last 30 years) the republicans have run this country ,and each time they come into power this country slips backwards, looking at that record how can anyone vote for them puzzles me.

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