The Government Oversight Committee voted unanimously yesterday to seek an investigation into why the Department of Health and Human Services didn't disclose its MaineCare billing errors during state budget talks. The errors led to more than 20,000 ineligible people receiving benefits.
The vote allows the state's Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability to launch an investigation into why DHHS did not tell lawmakers about the problem when it provided budget information in February, according to MaineToday Media. DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said she learned of the problem in January, but did not tell legislators until March. In February, lawmakers voted to cut benefits for 14,000 MaineCare recipients based on budget information provided. Committee member Rep. Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, said DHHS committed a "breach of trust."
OPEGA's investigation will likely take until July.