FAIRHOPE, ALA. – The Alabama legislature just passed a bill to use $120 million of the BP settlement to fill a shortfall in the state’s Medicaid budget.
But Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler says “Alabama will lose $101 million of that money because it failed federal audits – and failed badly.”
“What the BP settlement gave, the failed audits will take away,” Zeigler told the Eastern Shore Republican Women’s Club in Fairhope Thursday.
Audits released in July and August asked the state to return $75 million plus $21 million plus $5 million. The total return due is $101 million.
Audit summary #1 from Office of Inspector General:
Complete audit report #2. Office of Inspector General, Dept. of Health and Human Resources:
Zeigler speech excerpts:
Three federal audits have been completed. One recommends Alabama make a refund of $75.3 million, a second demands $21 million, and a third demands $5 million. That is a total of $101 million in refunds to the federal government.
The Bentley administration has reached a new low point in mismanagement. They did not bring to the attention of the legislature that the failed audits would grab all of the new BP Medicaid money for 2017 and part for 2018.
I would have brought this to the attention of the legislature myself, but my office just received the new audits yesterday. These audits do not fall under the authority of my office, but honest state employees report things to me anyway because they cannot get anything done going through the Bentley administration. They know that I will read their complaints, expose the matters to the public, and try to force corrective actions.
We are being told today that the Medicaid shortfall for 2017 has been solved. It is not true. They ignore the failed audits and the federal directives to refund $101 million.
Let’s do the math. $120 million of new BP money for 2017-18. Minus $101 million ordered refunded due to failed federal audits. I come up with – $19 million for Medicaid, not the $120 million intended by the Alabama legislature. We cannot afford more leadership like the Bentley leadership.
The Bentley administration has not been honest with the state legislature nor with the people of Alabama.