Sunday, April 19, 2015

REDUNDANCY: Your Taxpayer Dollars Taking You For A Ride

Marie Jamieson, 87, boards a bus at Sunrise Senior 
Living facility in West Chester, Pa., in 2010.
(Photo: Eileen Blass, USA TODAY)
That sound you hear is your Tax Dollars:
The federal government has 42 programs run by six different departments to help people get to their doctors' offices, government auditors have found.
It's just one of many redundant, overlapping or fragmented services costing taxpayers tens of billions a year.
Some others: Eight federal agencies are responsible for the safety of consumer products; the government has 112 different mental health programs; two different agencies inspect the same laboratories in the same year.
Those are the findings of a Government Accountability Office report to be released Tuesday, the fifth such report on duplicative government programs. This year's report finds 12 areas where federal government programs could be consolidated or streamlined.
One of those areas is what the government calls non-emergency medical transportation, or NEMT. The Department of Agriculture has a grant program to help assisted living facilities in rural areas to buy vans; the Department of Housing and Urban Development provides bus tokens and taxi fares for people with AIDS; and the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide mileage reimbursement, or buy bus, train, boat or even airplane tickets.
The largest program, administered by Medicaid, spends more than $1.3 billion a year to get people to the doctor. But because medical transportation at other agencies is so fragmented, there's no accounting of how much the government spends in all.
It also means that the system is inefficient, because agencies are often paying for individual taxi rides instead of pooling medical trips into a single shuttle service.
"That's part of the efficiency of multi-loading. There may be different passengers on the bus, and they all have different funding sources, but they're all going to the same place," said Becky Yanni, executive director of the Council on Aging in St. Augustine, Fla. The council runs the Sunshine Bus Co., which provides a variety of transportation services to people of all ages in St. Johns County.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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