James O'Keefe is at it again. This time the conservative activist is targeting Maine's Medicaid system in a video released Thursday that has already drawn response from the state's conservative Republican governor. The undercover footage follows an actor posing as a wealthy drug-smuggler as he applies for taxpayer-sponsored Medicaid health insurance.
The Associated Press reports that the video shows a state Health and Human Services Department caseworker acknowledging that the actor-applicant has no income and giving him an application, even after her tells her about his lucrative, though undocumented, business. The video was produced by O'Keefe and given to the Maine Heritage Policy Center by Americans for Prosperity-Maine.
So what was Maine Gov. Paul LePage's biggest beef with the video? That he didn't see it sooner. LePage would have liked to see the video "in February when [O'Keefe] filmed it and we would be six months further along in fixing the problem, " he said in a statement released Thursday. LePage said that his administration will be looking into the incident immediately.
"Although I do not believe the video shows an employee willfully allowing abuse of the welfare system, I do believe it is an example of how poor training can open the door to fraud and abuse," LePage said. "We must protect the limited resources for those who are truly in need and shutdown the benefits for those abusing the system."
The Portland NBC affiliate WCSH reports on the developing story:
The Maine video is the latest in O'Keefe's series aimed at uncovering fraud in Medicaid programs across the country.