RALEIGH – During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidate, and now president, Donald Trump told crowds America was going to win so much under his leadership that they were going to get sick of winning. The jury is still out on that as far as President Trump goes, but here in the Old North State we have a leader that is racking up enough wins to make you turn green. Green like money.
State Treasurer Dale Folwell (R) announced Thursday that the State Health Plan has completed a year-long project to verify the eligibility of nearly 190,000 dependents on the Plan. The result? More than 600 ineligible people were kicked off the plan, and off the taxpayer dime.
The goal was to collect electronic records that verify dependents’ eligibility so future audits of this scale are not required. Previous audits, under the leadership of Democrats, failed to maintain these records. Why make sure people aren’t taking advantage of taxpayers, when your basic philosophy is to have everyone government supported anyway, right?
The audit is part of an ongoing effort by Folwell to use technology to modernize policies and procedures and improve efficiencies. And he wasn’t messing around: Those subject to the audit who did not submit documents had their dependents terminated from the Plan. That’s called taking your fiduciary duty seriously.
“It is essential to the long-term sustainability of the Plan that only qualified individuals receive State Health Plan benefits,” Folwell said. “I know the process was a burden to some, but we now have a ‘living and breathing’ document that will follow an employee throughout their careers with the state. I want to thank all those who submitted documentation for their cooperation.”
Of the more than 185,000 people subject to the audit, 601 were found to be ineligible and removed from the State Health Plan. There was no information on how long these people had been ineligible, but apparently previous Treasurer Janet Cowell was unconcerned with the unqualified spending of taxpayer monies.
Folwell says the average cost of an individual on the State Health Plan is around $6,000 per year. Taking that average and multiplying it by the 601 people eliminated from the plan as a result of the audit, equals more than $3.6 million a year in savings.
Or, viewed the other way, previous regimes at the State Treasurer’s office were needlessly spending $3.6 million of taxpayer funds every year.
This may be a drop in the bucket when measured against the entirety of state spending, but the savings Folwell keeps uncovering are adding up quickly. Between reduced investment fees, streamlined and less costly administrative processes, and ensuring money is going where it’s supposed to, Folwell is racking up 100s of millions in savings for taxpayers barely more than a year in office.
So much winning. Sick of it yet?