AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) successfully amended the Texas House of Representatives’ budget bill to require an audit of potential fraud, waste, and abuse in the welfare system.
“Funds that are intended to help the least among us get back on their feet should be spent for that purpose and that purpose only,” said Rep. Isaac Thursday during budget negotiations. “With over 4 million Medicaid recipients and 3.8 million food stamp recipients in Texas, many of whom overlap, even a small percentage of errors result in an unacceptable waste of taxpayer dollars.”
Rep. Isaac called attention to data pictured below depicting Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program funds spent out-of-state — just one potential form of fraud, waste, and abuse. However, at this time there is no way to know the full extent. Though the Health and Human Services Commission screens welfare recipients for eligibility at the time they apply, there is not a uniform effort to ensure continued eligibility after enrollment.
The amendment directs the Health and Human Services Commission to conduct a study cross-referencing welfare recipients with death records, enrollment in other states-administered programs, lottery winnings, out-of-state spending, employment records, and other factors.
“The people of Texas have entrusted us with their tax dollars — dollars that they work hard to earn — we should treat that trust with the utmost respect,” Rep. Isaac continued.
Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.