Comments for: Maine may need to repay federal money after computer error, DHHS commissioner says

Posted March 07, 2012, at 7:29 p.m.

AUGUSTA | Maine is likely on the hook to refund the federal government for erroneously providing Medicaid benefits to roughly 19,000 people, according to Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew. “We will have to deal with the federal Medicaid program,” she said Wednesday. “We are scheduling …

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  • Anonymous

    Please find a new picture of Commissioner Mayhew that is not smiling. She should be weeping after the continuous mismanagement and oversight of DHHS.

    • Anonymous

      Tough to clean up a mess created by Baldi, especailly when people in DHHS lie to hide things!

      • StillRelaxin

        Mary’s been swallowing figures from LePage for over a year now. With that kind of experience one would think she’d have learned how to identify a lie/liar when she hears/sees one. They all knew the truth weeks ago and what did they tell the legislature? NOTHING! Frankly, I’d say this whole pack of rats deserve to go before we Mainers find that there ain’t no cheese left in the fridge.

        • Anonymous

          The problems with DHHS and the computer system goes way back to the King administration and Baldacci administration.  Baldy made it worse by spending more than $50 million on a computer system that hasn’t worked period.  We wouldn’t be in this mess if Democrats didn’t feel everyone should be “taken care” of and they did their jobs and would have made cuts and reforms to this department.  It is time to make these cuts because Maine taxpayers don’t want to pay for these folks anymore and we don’t want our taxes increased so these lazy bums can continue living the good life.  The Maine economy will not grow until DHHS and Welfare has gotten under control.   Maine won’t be a business state until it ends its lavish welfare programs and starts telling these folks to take a hike and start sending them either South or North to Quebec or New Brunswick Canada.

          • StillRelaxin

            Gee, wouldn’t it be a lot simpler for Mr. LePage to do something to bring jobs TO Maine instead of continuing to slowly scare employers and drain jobs away with daily negative rants saying absolutely nothing positive about our State or our people?  Is that what folks voted for incompetence and hatefulness?   I don’t think so.   Corrections will need to be made in November.  Suppose this administration can come up with accurate numbers by then? 

          • Anonymous

            I guess your forgetting the 40 jobs being created now and possibly up to several hundred more announced by New Balance yesterday.  Due to the Natural Gas pipeline being built here in Somerset and Kennebec County by KVGAS and Summit Utilities which will lower energy costs for business up to 60%.  But you didn’t read the articles about it on here did you.  You just like sprouting off attacks on LePage who is trying to reverse decades of Handouts, Welfare, Taxpayer Subsidies to Democrats Politicians, Special Interest Groups, Envrionmentalists, and those who are too lazy to get off the couch away from tv and computer by having them get a job .

          • Anonymous

            the jobs have nothing to do with the pipeline-the jobs are here now, not years down the road- its demand and good workers, you know, the kind of workers depicted on that mural the lamebrain in the blaine had removed

          • Anonymous

            of course not lowering their utilty costs by 60% has nothing to do with keeping the existing or creating new jobs. daaa! what planet do you live on especially when oil is going up like you are at an auction and we live in a cold climate. come on wake up

          • Anonymous

            Yes but he lost 600 Jobs, so the 40 do not count.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah but King and Baldacci both lost tens to hundreds of thousands of jobs each during their administrations.  Welfare also grew to unsustainable levels under both.  With the DHHS computer debacle being made worse thanks to them.

          • jimbobhol

            YAWN!!!!

          • Anonymous

            Why do you think the same government who helped jobs leave would or should bring them back? Stop buying from these businesses, let them sell their wares to the people they are paying five dollars a day to.
            If they did come back trust me, no one will get paid much more then they are paying in foreign lands, which wouldn’t be much help would it? I think they are traitors and don’t want them back or their stupid products.
            The billionaire list was released there’s 148 new billionaires, many from the U.S.. Many who moved their businesses  overseas. STOP buying from them.

          • You are wrong, the computer system works in most instances, and much better then the previous one. I’ll bet also you are one of theose peolpe who often complain erroneously that other States are sending welfare people here, and you want to do the same thing. Do I think that people should be taken care of dumped to die? Easy answer for me.

          • Anonymous

            Oh please that is why they keep having trouble with the computer system and have had issues with it since the King administration. This system which was made worse thanks to Baldacci spending 50 million dollars to fix the problem which hasn’t worked since.  It is time for Liberals to get with reality. The Welfare System is breaking our state and us working taxpayers.  We have had enough paying for a unsustainable bloated system.  It is time to boot most of these folks off and have them going somewhere else to get their Welfare Handouts.  The job creators and working folks in Maine we should come first because we weren’t the focus of the Democrat Party in the thier 36 years (1974-2010) control of Augusta.

          • Anonymous

            Where is this “good life” you speak of ?  I get Mainecare for my disability and an entire $16 for food stamps. If covering the cost of 4 gallons of milk a month is “the good life”, well party on.
            And as far as anyone being bums on this system, read up on some facts. Nationwide only 8 to 9 % of people receiving help don’t really need it. That leaves 90%+ that do. Many are working jobs with no benies and crap pay. I don’t think anyone who needs this system would call it lavish.

          • Anonymous

             Well, you have enough money to pay for high speed internet access, a computer, cable TV?, and have the leisure time to spend posting messages here. Better than working?

          • Anonymous

            There is a young man who was recently diagnosed with cancer …. he went from taking a full schedule of college classes and working 30+ hours a week to being eligible for SSDI and MaineCare.  His leisure time is spent receiving treatment ….. is he living high on the hog at $625 a month?  Yes he owns a computer and a TV which he bought before getting sick … guess he should sell them and get a job….?

          • Anonymous

            So what? Do you propose to dissect and detail every single person’s situation here online? Everyone has a sad story to tell.

          • Anonymous

            It’s not a case of sad story’s.
             It’s a case of DHHS and the Gov kicking anyone they can off at random to make their budget look better.
            It’s a case of serious mismanagement being blamed on computers

          • Anonymous

            Stories. It’s stories, not the possessive, story’s.

          • Anonymous

            No I don’t. I use my neighbors computer, have no internet,no cable tv and my so called leisure time is spent at doctors and hospitals.  I hope you never need this kind of help, but when you do, you may get your wish and have NOTHING available to help you.

          • Anonymous

            It’s not just Dems, it’s the whole political community. The only difference between Dems and Repubs is Dems think everyone should chip in and those with more money chip in more to pay for those who keep breeding slackers and Repubs think everyone else should pay for the same and not them. Behind closed doors politicans and big business think it’s up to everyone else and not them.
            Personally I think everyone should take care of their own especially if they want to raise lazy, self entitles brats. I do think those who are in real need being the handicapped and elderly should get help.

          • Anonymous

            No Dems want everyone else to provide for those who refuse to work. They would rather have everyone jumping on the Welfare Wagon.  The would like to turn our country and state into an Socialist Welfare Haven and with a restrictive Nanny State thrown in too.

          • Anonymous

            I’ll go along with the nanny welfare state but really it’s all politicans So we need to get rid of most of them.  Without them we who bust our butts everyday we’ll be a lot richer for it.

          • Anonymous

             So people migrate to Maine to partake of its lavish welfare programs.  That’s crap. Self serving and self justifying drivel.

        • jimbobhol

          Yawn!!!!!

        • Anonymous

          so you are saying they are/were hiding numbers? so what good is that going to do for anyone.  it is just incredible that people would think that hiding this information would never get out. while watching the news last night and listening to john martin, former speaker of the house (thank god that he is former, oh i forgot he thinks he is god)  say that they can’t believe anything that dhhs is saying because of this screw up and he was running the show while these problems were festering but no , he would not hide it because if it came out like it is now, his empire of non profits in eagle lake that he runs would lose funding and he might have to run it like a real business now.  he who throws stones should not live in glass houses john.

        • Anonymous

          Even you the defender of the public money into private pockets progressive must have a hard time defending the liberals on this one. the leader of this arrow throwing party admitted on vom they knew about this and evidently waited for the right moment to try an blame the current admin.Also trying to take credit for outing this mess.This is just another example of the previous admins  cover ups.The leaders of the dems knew this and did not say anything until it was political helpful to there party.

      • Anonymous

        Read the article—these payments were made over the last year and 6 months—LePage has been in office for a year and 3 months—seems like he and his secretary of DHHS have the explaining to do—blaming your subordinates doesn’t really cut it, particularly when you are the one who chose the subordinates.

      • Anonymous

        You cannot Blame John for this,,,,,,but you can blame the incompetent Govenor LePage.

        • Anonymous

          Really this is the updated computer system that Baldacci spent 50 million dollars on to fix the issues with the DHHS computer system.  It hasn’t worked period it should be scrapped.

    • Anonymous

      Ever look at a picture of someone & say to yourself, “Gee, that person doesn’t look all that intelligent”???

    • Anonymous

      Is the picture of the younger female really Commissioner Mayhew? It keeps appearing but doesn’t really look like her. Compare it to the picture of the older female that is really of the Commissioner. Can’t somebody at the BDN get the editing right. This paper is not the same as when Kent Ward was Editor.

  • Anonymous

    And the good news continues.  This Administration and  DHHS commissioner have to go ASAP. 

    • Anonymous

      No No

      Just the incompetant Baldacci DHHS  hacks who continue to lie to the new Commisioner.

      • Anonymous

        Honestly, the commissioner stated she knew the program was faulty since she started. Why didn’t she look for solutions to scrap the program in the first place? Or try working with the company who supplies the program for solutions? Everyone is to blame here.

        • Anonymous

          maybe you can lend her your magic wand to fix it? the one that was tried in the past 2 administrations. if you would not have so many people on welfare in this state BECAUSE  the liberals made it so easy to get on the system, the system might work but i think it is overloaded!

          • Anonymous

            Man, you live in a topsy-turvy world.

  • Guest

    Happened all the time with JB in there and it’s his computer system that failed.

  • Anonymous

    Drain us slow and painfully. How many times have they had to revise the budget.

    • Tyke

      They still cannot function without training wheels.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah. And it becomes even worse when you consider that they are all riding trikes.

  • Anonymous

    Research the old articles — Ms Mayhew is quoted in November as stating ” …. that a complete review of all programs had been concluded and that the shortfall would be $120 million ”

    In December, January and February she and Mr LePage stonewalled the Republican and Democrats that serve on the appropriations committee as they begged for back up data to verify numbers that just would not add up. Even an independent audit could not verify their numbers. Little wonder — the numbers were fraudulent.

    All the time Mr LePage is publically ridiculing Republicans and Democrats for not just moving ahead.

    At a minimum Ms Mayhew knew there was a larger problem which she failed to identify. If she failed to inform Mr LePage she is insubordinate and if she did he is culpable as well.

    Taking another month and a half to come forward is inexcusable. As a manager blaming subordinates is no way out the buck stops at her door.

    What is it with this adminstration and numbers ?

    • Anonymous

      And is there anyone in the State that thinks she didn’t tell LePage? He does not strike me as a boss who would take lies by ommission lightly. Not that he has a leg to stand on in that regard, but I think you know what I mean.

  • Anonymous

    Over her head sounds like with none of the old staff to help her out because they fired them all.

  • StillRelaxin

    The news just gets worse every day.  Again Mary 1-2-3 strikes you’re outta here!

    • If Dr. Dora Anne Mills was still in that position, would you be saying the same thing?

      • StillRelaxin

        Well that is the whole point isn’t it. if Mrs. Mills were running the show there then none of this would be happening in the first place because she’d be doing her job instead of allowing tubby to boss her around or blindly accept his every hateful lie. So yes, we’d all be very much happier, but poor Paulie would be sad that someone smarter and more competent than him is sitting in his conference room. As we all know that’s something a psychopath couldn’t ever tolerate. Sooooo…goodbye Dora.

        • Thats the funniest thing I’ve heard all morning.  These systems were in place when she was there too!

          • Anonymous

            Ahh, but she wasn’t the head of Mainecare then, she was the director of the MCDC.
            Man, don’t facts suck.

      • Anonymous

        Dr. Mills was hired as head of Mainecare, and then lasted a few months. Some say it was due to her open comments about BPA when the Gov was making jokes about lil beards. Perhaps it wasn’t due to the BPA comments that had LePage fire he while she was on vacation.

  • Anonymous

    Umm, am I missing something here??? 19,000 ineligible recipients who knew they were committing fraud by using their cards? Why do the taxpayers have to pay that back? Is there not any way to track who those users were and make THEM pay it back? Or at least some portion of what they used? People who commit fraud should be responsible not everybody else. And Mayhew claiming all this has come to her attention??? Bull!! Her job is to over-see this department and she failed. Anybody who has a supervisor position has the responsibility to know what is happening with their department. More than meets the eye here somewhere.

    • Anonymous

      It all stems down to the info entered into the computer. DHHS is responsible for this error, not the recipients. And this should not fall on the taxpayers back……..but, somehow, it will. The whole department needs to be overhauled.

      • Anonymous

        it always was that if DHHS make a mistake the person or persons had to pay the bill,not the state of Maine. What changes that here in this case? 

    • Anonymous

      I believe they said it was the old computer payment system that was out of date and it had parameters set that just didn’t do what it was programmed to do, I don’t think it was fraud on the recepient’s part, just that the system didn’t realize they we’re no longer eligible.

      • Anonymous

        Makes me wonder if the best solution long term would be to contract with another state which has good, sound systems in place to minimize waste and inaccuracies(since Augusta DHHS can’t seem to get it right).  Disband Maine DHHS except for one person to oversee Federal receipts and payments to a DHHS contractor and help the Governor budget for Maine’s part of the social benefits programs costs.  The Governor has said in the past that Maine ought to be more like New Hampshire.  Perhaps NH would be willing to contract with Maine to disburse social benefits program monies.

        • Anonymous

          Very good point, it seems more and more apparent that we have a motley crew overseeing the social services sector using an abbacus to keep the books.

    • Anonymous

      I was one who was dropped in error( I am disabled) in July, Sept or Nov, according to who at DHHS I talk to. NO LETTER WAS SENT. None of us were told our coverage ended. I found out when I went to pick up my meds in Dec. I was expecting my copay to be $3 and was told I had no coverage and had to pay $85 for a single med. No one was scamming or defrauding anyone.
      When I called Mainecare to get an explanation as to why I was not notified, no one could tell me. Again I was told it was a system error that letters did not go out.

      Maybe its time for a new system or some training on how to use it CORRECTLY

      • Anonymous

        And you communicated with DHHS like a responsible person.  All those people who incurred medical bills knowing they were not eligible for Mainecare anymore had a responsibility to COMMUNICATE that to the provider so that Mainecare would not be billed.  It’s a sad society that takes no personal responsibility and blames it all on the “system”.

        • Anonymous

          and how am I suppose to communicate a problem that I have no knowledge of  existing? No one was informed!  No letters were sent, no one at Mainecare said anything to any healthcare provider I use. So it is a problem with ” the system”

    • Anonymous

      When people who brag about hating government are elected, why should we expect them to know how to run it?

    • Anonymous

       Standard issue – ‘why is everyone taking money from me’ Republican muck.  What’s next nickelback?  Are you going to suggest that all of these people be locked up?

      • Anonymous

        Actually, I’m a Democrat, so your insight is slipping. Besides, both parties are full of crap and only care about us when it is time for re-election. 

    • Anonymous

       The methadone clinic owners should pay half. just because…:)

    • Anonymous

      “Is there not any way to track who those users were and make THEM pay it back?”.  Good luck with that.  You’d have better success trying to get blood out of a rock.  The very minute those funds were paid that money was G-O-N-E.  Forget about it.  The State would spend $25K trying to recoup $1K and maybe get $200 of it back.

      • Anonymous

        ok.  DHHS makes huge mistakes…computer or some other excuse…and recepients are NOT notified that they are no longer covered.  so why should they be forced to repay it back if there was no knowledge that their eligibility expired?  it wasnt their faults.  the responsibility lies in the machines, operators, management, etc.  not with those not informed.

    • Anonymous

      The problem lies with DHHS for continuing to honor the cards and make payments when they knew or should have known that those folks were ineligible.  My question is when the letters were sent, why weren’t the cards cancelled, similar to what a bank does when it cancels a credit card.  If a provider provided services on a card that was cancelled, then they would have to bear the burden, not the taxpayers.    Perhaps if Ms Mayhew had not fired some of her top managers last year, this may have been avoided.

      • Anonymous

        How could you not know why the cards weren’t “cancelled”? Didn’t you read the article(s) on this whole mess. It was because the Eligibility System and the Billing systems do not talk to each other correctly. So while the client was closed in the Eligibility System they remained open in the billing system. The cards themselves are meaningless. Just having a card does not mean the client is eligible. That is what the billing system is supposed to reflect, but when info from the system that grants and closes isn’t getting through, it makes it a bit harder.
        Also Eligibility can not look into the billing system, and vice versa.

        • Anonymous

          Then the obvious answer is to close out the client in the billing system–give providers a link to a database which only contains those clients who are eligible–if their patient’s name is not in there, then the provider will know it can’t bill mainecare—and if maine care is billed, no payment will be made.  it does require a manager and IT people who are on top of the system to do  this, but the fix is simple.

          • Anonymous

            Except that people who work billing do not have training in eligiblity, and so they would not know who was and was not eligible.  Also, Eligibility does not have access to the billing system. 
            Honestly, if there were easy fixes to everything, do you think there would still be issues years and years down the road?

          • Anonymous

            I understand your argument—However, good managers, particularly upper level ones, should anticipate these types of problems.   My concern is that too many upper level government employees don’t anticpate.  The need to have the eligibilty database and the billing database linked seems obvious–but maybe that’s 20-20 hindsight.

          • Anonymous

            Totally agree with you there. I don’t think that management at the Augusta level do not plan ahead very well.
            Also, just as an FYI, the two systems are linked. Its not like the two systems don’t communicate at all. This issue is huge, but there are a lot of ways in which the system interface does work.
            What it comes down to is allowing people who do billing to be able to see “mirror” pages of the eligibility system to double check that they are, in fact open. By mirror, I mean read only pages.

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps if  Lepage had appointed a DHHS commissioner with a shred of experience, we would have known about this when she claims to have first become aware back in late January. And if he had appointed a commissioner with a shred of integrity, she — or any of the other political appointees who deliberately concealed it — would have revealed this prior to the debate over the alleged MaineCare “shortfall.” Ms. Mayhew truly works for the governor, not the public, and it’s pretty clear what his agenda is.

    • Anonymous

       No letters were sent out informing people that their MaineCare  was no longer covered, which DHHS has stated in many articles. Another computer error!   A lot of people seem to think that MaineCare is a check you simply receive and spend—This card pays for medical services, which yes, some people abuse—It could also be that old bills were finally paid to doctor’s , hospitals , etc. as some of the money that is owed for medical services is years over-due. DHHS ia a mess, and has been for a long time–You do not get informed of a problem in Jan. and wait a couple months to even look in to what the problem is!–I agree with most you said, except, if people are not informed they have been cut from a program, who’s fault is that??Surely someone could have found the time to type up a letter, make a whole lot of copies, and send them out!!–It must be a bummer for some of the elderly to find out at the pharmacy or the doctor’s office, that they no longer have coverage!–Plus, someone found the time to inform these people of the change!!

      • Anonymous

        And I agree with you about the elderly, and not to forget children either. It’s the “in-betweeners” that I would be referring to. But I still stand by my opinion that it seems everybody was passing the buck and there has to be somebody to oversee these things. If I had let this happen at my workplace, I would be in the unemployment line for not coming forth, or even not staying on top of it. Maine needs to jump into 21st century and do some needed updates. Can’t cost more than what errors it is making for sure.

    • Anonymous

      Yes she needs to fire some of the Baldacci hacks still at DHHS who fail to tell her what the hell is going on.  These systems and the people who run them were put in back in 2010 at Direction of Baldacci

      • Anonymous

        so stands to reason with that reason of thought, that she, too, should be fired for not telling the legislature what the hell was going on back in january! 

      • Anonymous

        “DHHS staff knew of the problem in January, when lawmakers were in the heat of budget talks, but never spoke up, said Rep. Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston, the lead Democrat on the Legislature’s budget-writing committee.
        “The incompetence and mismanagement here is astounding,” she said in a statement. “I’m disturbed that the LePage administration has known about this since January, when they identified the problem, but lawmakers only learned of it yesterday. We asked these very questions in January when the numbers weren’t adding up, and we were unfairly accused of dragging our feet.”

        Are the Tea Party people all AOL users ?  
        “I’m disturbed that the LePage administration has known about this since January”
        But the less government waste noise makers aren’t when the problem was ignored BY WHOM ?  

  • Anonymous

    Why would they develop and put in use a program that doesn’t communicate with the existing program when determines the eligibility of clients? I feel like this should have known before the program was even put into play

    • Anonymous

      Don’t work much with computers, huh?
      One easy example is the company that created the Eligibility System, is not the same as the one that created this newer Billing System. The effort was there for the systems to talk to each other, and they do, to a degree. But its not in the area code of perfect. On the flip-side of this story are the clients who are open, but appear closed in the Billing system.

    • Anonymous

      Most likely it was scheduled to remedied before the dollar foolish penny pinchers started to run Augusta like a damaged goods junk shop.

  • I wonder what the dollar amount would be for 19,000 people.  We need to put an old Farmer in charge of dhhs for awhile.  He could show everyone how to budget and make due and cut the fat!!!

    • Anonymous

      But wasnt it Caine and all the other liberals last month telling us how they couldnt find anyone else on DHHS to kick off the doles, guess there were anothe 19000 layabouts milking the system.

      • Oh haven’t you heard???  There is no fraud!!  lol

  • Anonymous

    Why isn’t the computer software company that designed, set up and maintains this system being held accountable for the flaws in the programs, especially the ones that failed to link the computers on the system together?

    It would seem to me that there should be some liability issues if the system did not work as it was contracted to do.

    • jimbobhol

      Maybe they got what they paid for is the only thing I can think of.

    • Anonymous

      becaaauuussse if you dig deep enough you will find it was someone’s friend that was in office woho sold or bought the system  and god forbid we dig that friend up like the turnpike authority and maine state housing, wait wait that has never happened in augusta. those folks are straight as arrows right?

      • When Maine state housing came under fire, Dale McCormick had details of all money spent in three weeks!! Le Page said she was dragging her feet. Now he and Ms. Mayhew have been asked by both parties to show what happened to the budget inthe DHHS since November. Neither Mayhew or Le Page have accounted for one dime now who is dragging their feet??Looks like this arrow has done a 180.

        • Anonymous

          Disqus generic email templateI think you better check your math. they chased her for months to only get a partial list of vendors she wrote checks to with no amounts and to threaten to take her to court and finally after she could hide and talk to as many vendors as she could did she come out the list.
          secondly, how many vendors/customers is she writing checks to versus dhs? I think you have a few dollars difference in their budgets customer numbers and both of these messes were started when WHO was in office? and WHO was speaker of the house and WHO was in the majority in the senate and house??? better get your facts together before you insert foot!

  • Anonymous

    Blame it on the computers!! someone had to set up the computers to print out that ERROR!!

  • Anonymous

    The size of this blunder is becoming increasingly obvious.  I’m at a point where I feel compelled to demand an explanation about how an administration, that has been in power for more than a year, completely lost track of the budget of the largest expenditure in the State budget?  It seems obvious that Ms. Mayhew cannot continue in  her role.  I’m now wondering if the Governor is able to stay.  

    • jimbobhol

      I don’t always agree with your comments, but this nonsense has to stop. Let us all hope it’s not inside politics at play here just to make someone look bad.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps a previous lobbyist with no management experience was not the right person for the job from the beginning, just saying……

  • Anonymous

    Had this happened a year ago everyone who continues to blame this problem on the Baldacci Administration would be 100 % right. But it isn’t last year it is now and the current administration has been in office for 14 months. Anyone who had the ability to read a newspaper was aware of the problems with the DHHS computer system. To say  that the LePage Administration was unaware of the computer problems at DHHS would be ignoring reality. If everyone who had the ability to read a newspaper knew about the problem last year, the year before or even 5 or 10 years ago why did it take the LePage Administration until now to figure out there was a problem. It just doesn’t pass the straight face test. We keep hearing excuse after excuse and it is always someone else’s fault. Ms. Mayhew claims that she was made aware of the current problem in January. January was two months ago and why has it taken this long for us to hear about it? Mr. LePage promised, like a lot of other things, when he was on the campaign trail that his administration would be made up of only the best and brightest. First it was a $220 million shortfall, and that was a budget that was prepared by the LePage Administration. Now we find out that we, you and I have been paying for services rendered to people who were ineligible for benefits. Now DHHS is faced with having to reimburse the federal government for this latest screw up by the LePage Administration. The time to point the fingers of blame at past administrations is over. Paul Richard LePage is the Governor of The State of Maine and it is time for him to step up , like a man, and take responsibility for the screw-ups that are taking place on his watch. 

    • Anonymous

      A high up official talking to his new replacement says “one something major goes wrong I left a letter in the desk so you can place the blame on me”.  His replacement then asks, “what if other things go wrong”?  The mans reply was “Then start writing a letter”.

    • You could say the same thing about Obama not getting this economy straightened out in 4 years.  I’m sick of all the finger pointing going on not only at the national level, but state and local government as well.  I don’t care who “caused” the problem, the fact is we have a problem, FIX IT!!!!

      • Anonymous

        But the economy IS improving under President Obama. Take off the tea stained glass and you’ll see the truth.

        • I’ll believe it when the deficit starts going back in the black.

        • Anonymous

          tell me what is getting better, is it the 4 dollar gas and oil, is it the deficeit, tell me more please tell me more, i am waiting ……… still waiting……

          • Anonymous

            Gas was at $4 during Bush II, why don’t you tell me more, more, more.
            Back then all the right wing pundits were saying it wasn’t the POTUS’ fault. These same pundits are now full scale around stating this gas hike IS the POTUS’ fault.
            Do you folk on the right not understand the concept of video tape, and that what you say while the record button is pushed, actually survives for others to see, years later?

          • Same thing goes for the left.  During Bush II it gas prices were all his fault, now, it has nothing to do with POTUS.  Double edged sword my friend.

          • Anonymous

            Same side of the same coin. I didn’t agree with people who said that it was Bush II’s fault. And I don’t agree now.
            Thing is Bush II wasn’t running for re-election at the time and Obama is. So these U-turn pundits know exactly what they are doing. Which is fine, if not disingenuous.

      • Anonymous

        the problem with the big o is he is not trying to make it better, just throwing good money after bad

    • Anonymous

      of course it is. that is why the dhhs problem of being 120,000,000 over budget just happened in the last 14 months. of course it has nothing to do with previous administations. he came to augusta and said”alright guys let’s have a spending party till someone notices it and then let them call us names, penguins, incompetent, etc etc and see how much fun that is!!!   wweeeeeeee like the pig on the geico commercial wwweeeee this is fun right mary, so who are the real smart ones in this scenerio?

  • Anonymous

    I nominate the Three Stooges to take over as Health and Human Services Co-commissioners.  But then, I don’t know.  It seems like the current commissioner affords us just as many laughs.

  • Anonymous

    Trusting public monies to Mary Mayhew is on par with investing with Bernie Madoff. 

  • Anonymous

    This issue EXACTLY highlights why state and local government need to keep out of issues such as medical insurance and other programs that take money from taxpayers and allegedly give it to indigent or needy people.  If a private company had done this, the company would have to explain this mess-up to its stockholders and/or board of directors, or simply eat the loss.

    When government screws up, there is no recourse for the poor taxpayer who footed the bill.

    Get the government out of the health insurance business.  

    • Anonymous

      This problem is with a private company. The system was built and is run by a private company.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t confuse the no compromise crowd with facts or reality. 
        They react to them badly, once they are forced to do so. 

  • Anonymous

    Will you please stop with the “computer error” crap. Computers do not make mistakes!!

  • Anonymous

    We don’t need blame any longer…….we need a recall option.    Enough is enough.   The ink is barely dry on that budget he signed,    and now this?    And the school proposal being mired at the Revisor’s office?,   and the Millinockets being accused of not doing what the state brokered them to do with the company?

    Recall him,   get rid of her……They BOTH would do the same for such actions and irresponsible behavior, to anyone who did the same.    The computer problems are not past administrative problems;  systems and programs are upgraded.  You can’t communicate with the federal government on a daily basis using an unacceptable data base,  no way.

    • Anonymous

      Better yet …Crash the whole system .. Start over

  • Anonymous

    This is the problem with government. Does it really matter which administration set up this faulty program. The bigger issue is why in the hell didn’t someone take the time to problem solve and fix this after the first fiasco 20 + years ago?

  • Anonymous

    This is a joke, the whole system is a joke.  How about the clinics  that were seeing Mainecare patients?  $135.00 per visit. they are treated as piece work. They visit these clinics 2 – 3 times a week  135.00 each time.  These clinics need to pay the goverment back.
    Does anyone in Augusta know what they are doing?   Or maybe they just don’t care. 

    • Anonymous

      Nutting Honey

    • Anonymous

       and out of that $135 bill – MaineCare pays approximately $3.78.  I do, however, agree it is up to the providers to check the eligibility………when I worked in healthcare you had to call DHHS every single visit to see if the client was still covered.

  • Anonymous

    As we might have guessed: It’s the computers fault.  It’s sort of like “the dog ate my homework”. What a group of incompetent fools. People should lose their jobs over this mess. If this were a for-profit company and they lost millions heads would roll.   

  • BJ Kitchin

    I am unclear as to how someone with a BA in Political Science and a background in Public Relations (Marketing) becomes the Commissioner of a State Department of Human Services?

    • Anonymous

      No one else wanted the job.
      Didn’t you see/hear LePage’s comments about her when he annouced her as his “choice”?

    • Anonymous

      Politics. 
      And look at the results. 

      “I’m disturbed that the LePage administration has known about this since January. ” 

  • jimbobhol

    This computer problem is outrageous. There is no excuse for this type of problem in this day and age. I worked for a communications company for 30 years and any system we installed had  to be tested  over and over again for internal hardware and software failures and then for any in house integrated systems failures and then for any connecting company failures. I would probably say the techs that work on this know whats going on and either no one will listen to them or the managers are playing politics at the taxpayers expense. 

  • Problems in DHHS will continue to emerge until every last one of the Baldacci underlings are ferreted out.  Blame Mayhew if you want but she inherited  this mess, just like Lepage inherited the total cl*******ck Baldacci left at the State level.

    • Anonymous

       Sounds to me you are up for mimicking the famous Maoist cluster and won’t be happy till you gift the people of Maine with another “Great Leap Foward.”

      • Anonymous

        The slogan was “open for business” . 

        They can’t run one though. 

  • Anonymous

    Ya and the dems have known about the incompetance for 40 years !

  • PaulNotBunyan

    I only read the headline. It’s exactly what I thought when I read the first story about this snafu.  What gets me about this situation and some previous ones is they seem to have a hard time figuring out how much they lost.They have the data and they have the computers. It’s accounting software – not rocket science. Seems like they got some crappy software and database design for all the money they spent.

    • Anonymous

       more like they never taught anyone to use the programs….and its too easy NOT to put the right info in,as in do your dam JOB people !!! DHHS is and always will be a huge mess untill they get people in there that actually care about doing their JOB and doing it RIGHT

      • Anonymous

        Didn’t read the article, huh?
        This wasn’t about what a worker did or did not put in the system. This was about the correct work done in one system that did not “feed” over to the other system as it should have. So in essence the work was done, but the other system was never notified to update the open/close status.
        But if it makes you feel better to think otherwise, go nuts. Doesn’t change the fact that this is not about the front line workers, and all about management and upper management.

        • Anonymous

           ssooo the other system wasnt notified ?  And THAT fell to a HUMAN who works for DHHS….so any way you look at it SOMEONE didnt do their JOB.        And add to that every month there is a different caseworker handeling each case. Know it for a fact…..is it any wonder DHHS is such a mess ? Nobody knows what is going on from one day to the next and there can be no progress untill the way things are done is changed to a system where PEOPLE take responsibility for the job they were hired to do and do that job with NO excuses. That goes from Mayhew all the way down to the case workers who file the PROPER paperwork. There is always an excuse with these people….how many more are they going to make ?

          • Anonymous

            Actually Johny, it did not fall to a person. The person in Eligibilty did their job, and it was complete in their system. Then the Billing person did their job, based on what their system said was accurate.
            There is totally blame to go round, but as I said before, these type of errors fall on management to know that the systems aren’t running correctly.
            Its ok that you feel everyone is culpable, but that doesn’t make it so.

        • Anonymous

          But, but, but they are politically correct TEA types !!!!!

          I don’t trust people who think they can cut taxes and balance the budget to anything right.  

  • Anonymous

    This administration needs to divert attention away from its responsibility and incompetence in this ongoing soap opera.  Have Commissioner Mayhew  breathlessly announce that the 19,000 ineligible receivers are all gays without picture id’s who received ineligible prescriptions for painkillers.  It should firm up the penguins base.

  • And this is one of the huge ‘WHY’s that the Fed’s are coming to ask and to fix. The longer that this DHHS mess keeps going on, the longer and tougher it’s going to be in fixing it. If DHHS was smart it would get all of the fact’s, not the press releases and ‘Charmin’ paperwork, together and have the Fed’s show up and do an outside audit. An outside audit, free of State involvement and fingerpointing, would at least provide a neutral starting point for whatever solution’s might be available. It would also eliminate the current temper tantrum’s that seem to get in the way of working toward a solution. Then, if Paulie is really smart, he goes to his fellow Governor’s in the NGA and locates those State’s that use a system that CAN cooperate with the Fed’s system and gets DHHS to use it with a scheduled ‘tune up’ from the Fed’s to be sure everyone is working off the same piece of paper. This is one of those times the the Fed’s can bring a much needed point of view to a problem that clearly needs it. Why LePage and the DHHS are resisting this much needed help is a big question that everyone needs to ask.

    • Anonymous

      I look forward to the outside audit, especially in regards to when LePage’s admin knew about this issue and what they did or did not do.
      This has the potential of being really bad for the Gov.

    • Anonymous

      i think the answer is obviously that they have big stuff to hide and dont want the feds in there discovering it

  • Anonymous

    Reminds me of  a cartoon in the grocery store I frequented as a kid…
    A weightlifter has a barbell over his head just as his shorts begin to drop,
    the caption reads “you think you ‘ve got trouble”

  • Old Bear

    Is it because Lepage can’t shut his pie hole. He has forced so much on DHHS it seems like that all we are working for to pay taxes for welfare. So people can get there EBT cards and Maine Care. What a state we live in it time to move on.

  • For those of you that dont like ‘nanny government’.   nanny government  wants its money back.

  • Anonymous

    Baldacci and commissioner Harvey left tons of landmines behinds as the place we managed so poorly. I feel bad for the people trying to fix this mess..funny that no one incorrectly recieving benefits spoke up. I guess Mainers are not so honest..

    • Anonymous

       Send them a bill. If they knowingly cashed checks for amounts not owed, they should pay it back.

      • Anonymous

        you are right.. can you imagine the moonbats screaming at lepage if he asked ineligible people to pay back the taxpayors??? Of course the BDN would jump on any story to trash our current Governor….asking for payback would be totally responsible move but would be viewed with disdain by people who want us to go back to the irresponsible adminstrations of the past..

        • Anonymous

          Well, yeah all that and the fact you are 100% wrong.
          When DHHS makes an error on Food Supplement and TANF, even if it is 100% NOT the client’s fault, if they are overpaid, they have to pay it back. It is policy. So if an Eligibility worker makes an error, client pays it back.
          But you knew that, right?

          • Anonymous

            good to know that.. if it is being paid back why all the hand wringing?? maybe the reporters need to do a better job explaining the facts on this one

          • Anonymous

            Like I said, that is Food Sup and TANF, not Mainecare.
            Just so we’re clear.

      • Anonymous

        Just to clear up one of your points: Those enrolled in MaineCare do not receive checks to cash … payments go directly to those who provide services.  The providers had no way of knowing their patients were no longer enrolled when the checked eligibility prior to treatment. 
        However, I agree with you that those who knowingly sought services to be covered by MaineCare after being informed of non-eligibility should be on the hook for repayment for those services.
        It shouldn’t be that difficult to find out who received letters … unless there is no record of they were sent to.

        • Guest

          Many people did not even receive a “card.”  Providers were, in fact, told by recipients that he or she no longer had MaineCare, and asked that that be changed in their records.  They often were not, despite repeated attempts by recipients to correct them.

          Bills can take two years to arrive.  Until then, the recipient has either inquired to find out how much is owed, and been told that that amount is not available, or is awaiting the bill.

          Bills sent to the State by these providers who were incapable of correcting their records, for MaineCare payment when people were no longer eligible for MaineCare should have been rejected.  Most probably were, but how many were not?

          I don’t see how anyone who was taken off the eligibility list would still have services covered.  if someone somehow managed to do to the system what it has done to so many, then deciding on costs to be repaid is a whole other ballgame as providers adjust their billing to reflect type of insurance; in fact.

      • Anonymous

         What checks are you talking about that people cash?—MaineCare is not a check!

      • Anonymous

        Can’t get blood from a turnip

    • Anonymous

       http://mrctv.org/videos/woman-who-won-1-million-lottery-still-food-stamps

      Ethics is a lost virtue.

      • Anonymous

        I agree….we have examples every day of this and for the most part nothing takes place.. example recently of lawyer not paying taxes for 8 years and gets essentially a slap on the hand and gets cover due to his political connections…no one even blinks an eye nor to other lawyers take a stand on the unfairness…ethics and integrity are both lost virtues…

  • Need to check into the company who wrote this system. Probably written by a $2/hour programmer in India, but State can sue their company for workmanship issues on the system.  Unless of course it was written by an employee of the state, but I doubt that.

    • Anonymous

      All of the State’s computer systems are outside contractors. Meaning private sector companies.

      • Anonymous

         And those contractors are supposed to be overseen by all of those talented, dedicated, hard working public servants…or are we paying them just to show up? 

        • Anonymous

          Sure, there are those that do work for the State that oversee the implementation, but contracts are contracts and most stuff has to be “fixed” by the company contrcted out to.
          I get it though, State Worker = bad.

          • Anonymous

             NO…In this case state worker = AWFUL. 

            How can you people not understand that these talented, dedicated, hard working, professional public servants should have been smart enough to write a contract with bench marks and performance requirements that had to be met before payment was made?  This is not a difficult concept and in the private sector heads would roll if this kind of thing happened.  In government it’s just Oh Well, give us more money.

            You do understand that this is used as an example of what NOT to do when building a system, right? 

            http://www.cio.com/article/20133/Maine_s_Medicaid_Mistakes

            You can not make this stuff up.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, totally missed the point, not that I am surprised. You are blaming ALL workers for errors made by management; as if the front line worker could just do what they want and be insubordinate.
            Your sarcasm is also noted. I invite you to take a job that has 1500 clients per caseload, and then hold onto your narrow opinion of just how hard front line workers work.

          • Anonymous

             And you miss the point about responsibility. Not surprising there.  Responsibility and government “service” go together like water and oil. 

            NO ONE has ever been held accountable for this monumental SNAFU. 

          • Anonymous

            So you want to hold those not responsible for it, responsible. Makes zero sense.
            But as long as it makes you feel better.
            I am all for cleaning house in middle and upper management, but the front line workers are only working with the tools given to them.

        • Anonymous

          Those people were voted out of office, and/or replaced just about when the problem should have first shown up…. 

      • So, we should be suing those companies who most likely had their programmers in India write this bad code.

  • Anonymous

    the state should demand payment for all the messups the feds did just as well.

  • Guest

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  • Anonymous

    Lepage has had control over this system for 12 out of the 14 months it has been operating.

    • Anonymous

      14 months ago he was not which makes it an inheritance you excuser

  • Anonymous

    1)I would fire everyone in the government who even had an inkling of what was going on, but did nothing.  Sounds like that would save a lot of money….all those birds are high on the government salary hog.

    2) I would then send the people who got the benefits knowing they were not eligible a bill. 

    3) Even if they ever became eligible again, I would deny them benefits until repayments were made.4) I would attach liens to any property that they owned.  Probably not going to get much on this one, but it would send a clear message.4)  Fix the darn (censored)  problem.Plain and simple, you cheat, you never get another cent until repayment is made.  What’s so wrong with that?

    • Anonymous

      Well. Federal law for one.
      There are sanctions in place for intentional program violations, but it follows a certain track. You can’t, under Federal Law, just do whatever you want.
      All that money ($2 for every State $1 spent) have a lot of strings attached.

  • Anonymous

    YOOHOO , MAYHEW ! If you want a job where you can just do enough to collect your paycheck go to a different position in DHHS ! Its common knowledge thats been going on there for a long time !

  • Anonymous

    How is the Legislature suppose to make sound budget decisions on the upcoming 2013 budget if the current regime continues not to give them the “true” numbers?

  • Otis B. Driftwood

    Miss Mary and her bossie La Pudge, have got to come up with some money.  I have a novel idea, how a bout the La Pudge acting on his main campaign promise, do something meaningful to creates jobs, which will produce revenue, and voila, money to fix the problem .

  • Anonymous

    It appears money comes in on one hand, goes out though the other hand, And no one cares to balence the money accounts!. Mmmm. Seems the problem is at the top! Time for a change. If a retail or private company had a mistake involving 19,000 customers, you would think that person would be let go. Oh, but not here in the Great State of Maine. Mayhew will get a raise and more vacation time….She needs to step up and take charge and leave after she fixes this problem. One may think that DHHS has IT people employed. What were they doing while the problem was happening?……..

    • Anonymous

      “One may think that DHHS has IT people employed. What were they doing while the problem was happening?……..” 

      Like most state workers they were collecting their pay and benefits and giving little thought to their jobs.  Maybe they were out on a paid snow day when they could have been  working.  Maybe they were spending some of those gift cards that seem to be flying around like snowflakes in Augusta. One thing they weren’t doing is making sure that the computer system worked.  $110 million wasted on this computer billing system.  We’d have been further ahead to have just burned the money.  And of course the same incompetents who perpetrated this are still there…if they haven’t been promoted.

      •  the problem really is that an outside vendor built this system for the state, and not many State IT people were involved.  Errors happen when you take a new system and try to have it communicate with a system that should have been done away with years ago.    The language both of these systems is written in completely different and will cause communication problems

        • Anonymous

           The systems don’t have to be written in the same “language” for them to share data. Please stop trying to blame the contractors. The state employees should have been monitoring the contract.  If they weren’t they were derelict in their duty and should be fired.  Of course that never happens in government where screwing up this bad just brings a promotion. 

          • Anonymous

            You sound just like the people who sold the new system. 

          • Anonymous

             And you sound just like the people who BOUGHT the new system with even more tax money. 

        • Anonymous

          And no doubt the sellers of new system said the bugs would be worked out, next billing cycle. 

      • Anonymous

        Like the Legislators,  they have to told something is wrong. 
        How likely is that when the only qualifications for the job was to not believe in the Department’s purposes, politically ?   

  • Anonymous

    Democrats should be calling for at least sanctions on there leaders.The state people should be wanting an investigation.On vom this morning a Dem party leader admitted to knowing about problems like this in the DHS .Saying the governor was calling them obstructionists by saying the numbers were wrong.Allthe time knowing about these things without letting them see the light of day.If knowing about these problem from the past why would the democratic leadership not bring them forward.Especially after a long drawn out numbers fight.It seems the only answer was waiting for another chance to attack the new admin.As this party leader try to take credit for outing this problem by saying see i told you the DHS numbers were wrong.So to take a play out of the democrats play book lets call for an investigation into how long they knew this was happening.Also why they did not out this early.The only answer i can see is the democratic leadership again was waiting for a chance to blame the current admin an gain political points. pretty sad.

    • Anonymous

      Well, actually what is pretty sad is that it seems as though the only people that didn’t know the worst kept secret in the State is the one with the BIG Checkbook.
      And if you recall, both parties in appropriations were telling the LePage Admin that the numbers didn’t jive.
      Reality, get some.

      • Anonymous

        The Administration was too busy looking for people committing fraud to run their own caucuses  or the State, effectively. 

  • Guest

    The computer system designed and install by the previous administration ?
    One small sentence and then this writer goes on to put the blame on the current people in charge ?
    Come on, Baldacci and the Dems. knew this was a problem for years and just kicked the can down the road.
    Then the BDN put there usual spin on it

  • Anonymous

    Did someone get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning?  Why are you badgering this person? If you read this person’s post he/she said he/she was dropped in error… not remained on the books in error.  Think about it for a second… it’s basic common sense!   There is no reason to believe the computer programs couldn’t communicate ONLY when it came to retaining ineligible  people but communicated perfectly when it came to covering eligible people.   Either the computer programs communicated or they didn’t.  Chances are there are people who lost coverage who shouldn’t have.  

    The bottom line is that the responsibility lies with those in power who were aware of the problem and allowed it to continue.  THAT would be the LePage administration. They owe the public an explanation as to why they came into office focusing on redecorating and put this enormous problem aside. I do not want to hear anyone whining about how the Baldacci administration did it.  It is not relevant how it got started but it is highly relevant that the LePage administration has known about this since they took office and they let it continue.  And now to learn that at the start of preparing the budget they attempted to cover it up and had plans to allow this federal debt to grow just makes me livid.  It’s sneaky, potentially unethical and absolutely disgusting behavior. There is no excuse for the LePage administration not making this their top priority upon taking office.  

  • Anonymous

    Penguin to Obama, “Kiss my what”?

  • Anonymous

     Chill out there BUD! you apparently have never been in that kind of position huh….

  • Anonymous

    19,000 errors? If a bank or insurance company made 1% of these heads would roll. We need a house cleaning.

  • ladybaroque

    Just what Maine needs now…

  • You can’t run a business or state if you can’t count on your numbers being correct. I believe this may be a good example of  investing in our infrastucture. A good computer system is a investment in the furture that I believe would save us all money and many wasted hours of time.

  • Anonymous

    Classy.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t someone step up to the plate and go through this agency stem to stern and clean up all the problems and cob webs so they are on an even keel.  They are constantly in the limelight because they found something else wrong that we may have to pay for.

  • Anonymous

    What to heck?  The Commissioner says she was told of this problem back in January when she and LePage were claiming all the financial problems with the program were based on increased usage and benefits.  They fought with the Appropriations Committee about these facts.  LePage continuously insulted and belittled members of the Appropriations Committee.  Plus, when someone becomes ineligible, why would the card still be active.  The cards should be inactivated immediately.  This is a perfect example of why no one trusts the LePage administration. 

    • Anonymous

      If I may, the reason the cards were not “inactivated” is because they are never really active to begin with, the mere fact that someone has a card means squat, even says so right on the card. What the problem comes down to is that Doctors and Hospitals were “running the cards”; in essence checking the Medicaid numbers with the Billing System, and were getting the open status. Where the problem lies is that the case had been closed out in the Eligibility system, and then that info was not “fed” over to the Billing System correctly. So you have one system with the correct info and one with the incorrect info.

      • Anonymous

        Was it a genius that designed this “system”? 

        Here in Maine we make sure the new plow will fit the truck before we buy it.

        • Anonymous

          Its a good question. I can tell you that it was
          A) likely the lowest bidder
          B) a private contractor

          • Anonymous

            Was it a genius that designed the new computer selection criteria? Was it a low bidder that was selected? Are there public contractors for this?

  • Anonymous

    This doesn’t sound like a computer malfunction – it sounds more like a human malfunction, intentionally by indifference, or unintentionally. There is too much history of problems with computers in DHHS for staff not to be extra-careful. Know why it’s so easy to blame the computer? Because they can’t talk back.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, but no, that is not what happened. See my comment to Dlaurels up above. This is an error of one system not talking to the other. Which, you will notice, is exactly what all the articles on this are saying.
      Problems this big have little to do with the front line workers and virtually all to do with management and upper management.

      • Anonymous

        Yes sir, I hear you. But if you buy a new snow plow, don’t you check in advance to make sure it fits (is compatible) with your truck? In other words shouldn’t the new computer have been selected based on its compatibility with the eligibility computer? I realize this level decision wasn’t made by low level people. Sounds to me like a group folks who didn’t know what they were doing, or didn’t want to know what they were doing.

        • Anonymous

          I hear you, and agree totally. But due to all the sensitive private info these systems have to handle, the firewalls and other securites are so high that sometimes things don’t work right.
          The thing missing in all of this, is that the systems do actually talk to each other, but, as can be seen by this issue, they don’t do it very well.
          Years of ‘testing” go into these things, but real life and “expected issues” don’t always mesh up 100%.
          Meh.

  • Guest

    I find it awfully hard to believe that a commissioner of DHHS did not know anything about this “problem” especially when she was the head of the whole DHHS. It was also shown by video on WLBZ Tv. a DHHS elegibility worker giving a person advice on how to commit fraud to be eligable for Maine care and food stamps. Still the only ones that get charged and punished for fraud are the citizens of Maine. The worker in the video advising on the fraud was placed on administrative leave and getting paid during the process. I have been watching and reading the news for month’s noticing how everything and everybody is going nuts and resorting to desperate acts. Meyhew resigned there for getting to keep her pension,plus benefits  the citizens of Maine have to pay out the nose for her error in judgement! Then she has the nerve to be on the front page of the BGN with a huge smile while the state is in chaos! It boggles ones mind how the citizens can have it rubbed in their faces that we have to pay back for someones carelessness. Guess it’s easy to have such a big smile when you are the only one that does not have to pay for wrong doing. Guess we are all not equal like we thought.
     

  • Anonymous

    that is what happens when the fox is left in charge of the hen house.and the farmer doesnt check it until there is no eggs.It would seem the current admin.knew about these problems long ago and tried to cover them up.It would seem we the people need an independant committee to look into the system and see what is wrong,and it should come from outside of the current administration.we probably can also over look the top secret working papers because of memos passed around between agencies about this problem and who knows how many others will surface.  

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Ms Mayhew and staff, are capable of coming up with any correct answers on how much money was paid out in “so called error.”  It doesn’t sound like the DHHS knows what they are doing.
    All the comments on here about fraud by recipients is a joke compared to this “so called error.”

  • Anonymous

    This is a joke.  The best way to fix this mess, fire all incompetent workers.  Do not hire anyone that isn’t qualified for a postition.  This would save the state of a lot of money.  This proves again  you have to many employed in Augusta that have no clue what they are doing.  I don’t want my taxes going towards this.  If they had a job outside of Augusta  do you think they would stay employed?   If I had a job and couldn’t do it  I would  be fired.  Espicially when you’re dealing with money.  THIS IS A WASTE OF TAX PAYERS MONEY!

    • Anonymous

      I’m afraid you aren’t living in the real world. These folks are protected by the union. They have to be caught committing a crime – incompetence is not illegal. A revised approach is needed.

      • Anonymous

        …. and their incompetent  boss, just the State Treasurer,  is being protected by the govenah who appointed her. 

  • Anonymous

    So massive MaineCare fraud on LIEpage’s watch??? You don’t say. How much did Nutting pocket???

    Oh that’s right…they’re blaming a computer system from a previous administration…The one gone for over a year…while LIEpage’s crew was at the wheel…

  • Anonymous

    The goobernator should tell Obama to kiss his *** again!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Mayhew is totally incompetent to be the DHHS Commissioner, and Paul LePage is totally incompetent to be the Govenor

    • Anonymous

      How can it be Mr lepage?.This started and was covered up 16 months ago.

  • Anonymous

    They knew this since January and no one said anything till 2 days ago.  The republicans are in charge  right??  Well we can see where this is heading.  Computers aren’t suppose to make errors , it’s the person operating them that make errors.

    • Anonymous

      What about the millions that was lost and covered up 7 or so years ago.I think it was just another example of the cover ups from the past admin.

  • Anonymous

    What is so infuriating about this is that LePage must have known about this situation before the budget debacle and yet instead of being a true leader and putting it on the table to be dealt with he acted like a three year old having tantrums, insulting the legislature and treating the people of Maine like they were all a bunch of leeches on the MaineCare system.

    For all the carrying on he did during the budget mess, I find it interesting that we’re not hearing a peep from him now.  Hmm…….I wonder why?

    Adrienne you’d better eat your wheaties.  You’ve got a lot of spinning to do!

    • Anonymous

      Maybe, but the democratic leaders evidently knew about this 16 months ago.So how can you blame lepage.Should be investigated if the democratic party knew this and when.

      • aren’t you the same guy who blames Obama for the mess Bush left?

        • Anonymous

          No just the added mess that miss pelosi prior to the great divider.Also what the great divider messed up.I can not blame one man for this mess.

      • Anonymous

         Hey, I’m not going to argue about which political party is to blame.  They’re all a bunch of idiots as far as I’m concerned.  All I know is that Lepage was the one who made belligerent comments about the Maine people, blaming them for the state of the MaineCare system when it’s pretty obvious that he knew there was a major screw up at DHHS and yet he never said a word about it.

        The appropriations committee knew the numbers didn’t jive, but when they kept asking for more details he became a pompous a**.

        I absolutely agree with you about there being an investigation.  I think some heads should roll and I don’t care what political party they belong to.

  • Anonymous

    Writers want to have all the answers to whose at fault and frankly, I would like to point and say it’s her or his fault. But truthfully none of us really know. Is it incompetence? Is it that Comm’r Mayhew rushed to fire all the bean counters who knew, the way around Medicare billing, reporting and responding to Federal Audit exceptions. I seriously do not remember f the Brennan, McKernan, King or Baldacci administration’s had so many budget fiasco in the first ears of the Administration. It does make me wonder what was so different about these administrations.  Alas, my conclusion is drawn,it is competency , truth telling and honesty. My goodness, if Comm’r Mayhew knew that she was giving bad data or incorrect data to Gov’r LePage in January and it turn these bad data were not given to Appropriations then Ms Mayhew must resign or be dismissed immediately. As tax paying citizens we are being dragged into the ground by these senseless errors /partial truths and the blame game. STOP tit all right now, work with what you have, bring in realy expert, get this fixed and stop putting the burden on us to pay for your incompetence.

    • Anonymous

      How can you blame mayhew for a cover up over 16 months ago?

  • Anonymous

    Oh they are such potentially HONEST recipients, I am sure they will step up and pay it back…NOT.  Perhaps jail time for those who took the money knowing they were not eligible.

  • If those who were ineligible were notified that they were losing their MaineCare, it should be on them to repay the money.  The first question in the doctor’s office isn’t “How are you feeling?” but rather “Do you still carry the same insurance?”

  • Anonymous

    We cannot go forward with this bunch at DHHS. We elected our officials but not these turkeys who have no regard for public monies. Mayhew obviously does not have the decency to resign and has no oversight abilities. Fire from the top down now.

    • Anonymous

      How is this mayhews fault.This was another example of cover ups from the last admin.A leader from the dems party unknowingly admitted that on radio.

      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately, when something goes askew, the head of the organization takes the blame. That is part of their job description. Do you suggest maybe the janitor? Party affiliation is immaterial. Too bad it is a deadbeat Democrat.

        • Anonymous

          How then did the last Baldi hack who ran DHHS and created all this mess and hired all the Jr hacks survive? 

           

          • Anonymous

            What do you think? They lied or obfuscated until the liberals are out and then, OMG guess what a mess we have now. They cannot lie about the timeline however.

      • She’s been on the job for fourteen months.  What has she been doing, decorating her office?  Maybe she keeps moving the little statuette of a bureaucrat with a briefcase, like Michael Scott was always doing.

  • Abolish EBTs and bring back bread lines.  Problem fixed

  • Anonymous

    So who gave the BDN the 20 year old picture of Mayhew?  Nothing more current in the files that you could have used?

  • This is just another lie by LePage to have an excuse to tax YOU more……that’s what Republicans do.

    • Anonymous

      Please explain how this is Mr lepage fault?.This started at least 16 months ago.

      • Anonymous

        “Please explain how this is Mr lepage fault?.This started at least 16 months ago.

        It didn’t work right for the first two months, and was not fixed in the past fourteen. 

    • Anonymous

      Makes no difference ,
      Republicans /Democrats’ FIX IT !

    • Dude, where do you come up with this stuff! 

  • Anonymous

    It is past time to post “New Jobs” openings in the DHHS!!!!

    • ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh amen!!  Start firing and don’t stop until the problems are gone!

  • You people should get outside…it’s a nice day ! BDN only posts the comments that agreew ith their own agenda anyway….you are being programmed….

  • Guest

    A 50 million computer system put in by Harvey and Baldacci that didnt work from day one and this is Lepages fault?
    Nice spin BDN

    • Anonymous

      Who didn’t fix it ? 

  • Anonymous

    Its on to McCormick-what is the latest?

  • I’m unable to address the fact that they say they didn’t know about the issue since I know that section of my comments would be censored. As for addressing the real matter at hand, Mr Martin, Mr. Flood,Mr Katz and all others of the Appropriations Committee , here’s an idea,How about you make a formal request to the project team demanding a current listing of ALL the known defects/issues to date and the impact of each defect/issue within the claims management system? Each of these defects/issues can be reported from the testing software being used by the test team on this project and the software can detail when the issue was identified and what the impact of the defect/issue is to the State of Maine.
    It’s not rocket science.

  • Anonymous

    So is DHHS going after the people who received these benefits?  They better!…and if not why? Make the people who received the benefits pay it back.

    • did they receive notice that they were ineligible? if not it’s the states fault.

      • Anonymous

        No it isnt these people committed fraud and need to pay the money back!

        • Anonymous

          No. The information being used and is supposed to be accurate and up to date, isn’t.

          Hasn’t been for a long time.

      • It said that the residents were sent letters stating their ineligible status.  I say go after them

        • Anonymous

          Not.

          Clearly you don’t get it. The problem is bigger than the 19,000 ‘non categoriclas’sent letters in September.

          • I agree the problem is bigger than those 19,000.  but we need to make those who have stolen pay the consequences and make it less likely for someone in the future to do the same. 

      • Anonymous

        Zactly

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Mayhew’s claim that she wasn’t informed of the problem until January is simply not credible. The state auditor discovered the problem in September.  DHHS has intentionally covered up the problem for six months, so they could evade answering budget questions until the waning weekss of the legislative session.  The BDN should FOIA the auditor’s communications so the public can get to the bottom of this debacle.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure what you are referring to with respect to the state auditor in September.

      There is something called RFP (Request For Proposal) which was created to identify recipients by percentages, based on income eligibility criteria.  It’s about cutoffs, mostly.

      My assumption is they are looking for some ‘expert’, most likely from out of state who is ‘in the business’ of Health Care Reform (Medicaid/Medicare),  to take over administration of the programs on behalf of many States, including Maine.

      What they say, now, is that it has to do with agreement in payment amounts with Hospitals and Providers. Maybe.

      It there is ‘a story’ here, this is probably it, BDN.

  • Anonymous

    The LePage Administration did not identify the problem in January, I did
    – by pointing it out, repeatedly, over weeks beginning in January, to several entities with different people in authority and those charged with administration and decision making, including  a few folks at DHHS and the Legislature during the Budge talks, before I was told, in fact ,there is ‘a glitch’.

    Interestingly, the last office I contacted was Olympia Snowe’s office, out of desperation and because I thought hers might know about this technical team the Feds are sending us..

    You’re welcome!, Maine

    I’d also like to challenge this statement, for the record:

    …”MaineCare recipients can cycle on and off the program regularly as their personal circumstances change…

    Actually that entire paragraph should be stricken or edited and rewritten.

    * See my previous posts about the possible remedy we can still assert.

    • Guest

      Hey – so did I.  Good to know I wasn’t the only one. I didn’t think I was, but you get to thinking you must be.

  • I know this is petty, but could you find another picture of Mary Mayhew?  She looks like she’s using a sheet (maybe twin-sized) for a scarf.

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