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Lawmakers fire back after feds claim Missouri owes millions

A new federal audit claims Missouri’s Department of Social Services didn’t comply with Medicaid regulations.

The federal government is claiming Missouri owes $34 million and now lawmakers are blaming Governor Nixon.

Representative Sue Allen has been telling ABC 17 News for months now Social Services has too much on their plate and not enough people to manage the department.

Once the audit came in from the federal government saying Missouri owes $34 million dollars, which are taxpayer dollars, Allen is now saying Medicaid needs to be completely removed from DSS.

“I believe Medicaid needs to be at a cabinet level position,” said Allen, a Republican from Town and Country.

Representative Sue Allen has been vocal about DSS for months. The audit claims that for 3 years, Medicaid, which is run by the Department of Social Services, failed to properly bill drug manufacturers.

“This again is another example of the Federal Government saying one thing and CMS saying another thing, but then it comes down to $34 million dollars of taxpayers dollars of Missouri taxpayer dollars in limbo,” said Allen.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services said they don’t agree with the audit’s numbers and the number looks to be more like $7 million dollars.

Allen said the federal government will get the $34 million regardless if they pay upfront.

“And they just take it out of what we should get next time. It’s a game. It’s almost like a shell game. It’s almost like a Ponzi scheme,” Allen said.

The representative said DSS simply doesn’t use the money it’s give properly, which is more than $8 dollars each year. Recently, DSS asked for even more money, almost $200 million.

“If a company or a private entity was to function the way our departments function, people would be fired. And these departments? Hey! It’s not their money. It’s only taxpayer money. It’s easier to spend someone else’s money,” said Allen.

Allen also blames Governor Nixon.

“What you have to have though for a departmental reorganization is a governor who would go with that and we don’t have that right now,” claims Allen.

When ABC 17 News contacted the Governor’s office for a statement they responded via e-mail saying, “That response has been coming from Social Services”.

The Department of Social Services said it disagrees with the audit findings and will not make any repayments based on the Office of Inspector General’s findings.

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