Why is Kentucky privatizing its medicaid program with a company accused of government fraud?

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is spearheading the privatization of Medicaid in the state, a move that will restrict services for the program’s 815,000 enrollees. More than one in five residents in the state depend upon the health care program for the poor.

Private companies will begin managing care for most recipients of Medicaid by October 1. Four private for-profit companies, including Passport, Kentucky’s only managed-care company, will control the Medicaid plans.

Kentucky currently has a managed-care contract with Passport, which provides services to 170,000 Medicaid recipients in Jefferson and 15 nearby counties. The arrangement is fraught with corruption, waste, and political intrigues.

A 2010 investigation by state Auditor Crit Luallen revealed that Passport had defrauded the public coffers of some million. A report by the Corbin Times Tribune revealed conflicts of interest and high salaries and expenses by the three-person management team at Passport.

Republican Senate President David Williams blamed Beshear and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller for failing to properly oversee the company’s management.

Why did David Williams blame the government for a lack of oversight, instead of the Private firm Passport for committing 30 million dollars in fraud?

Is this what we can expect when we privatize government functions?

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