Ten Lt. Governors sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday, urging the senator to consider legislation that would give states greater flexibility to hire private contractors to better service entitlement programs and benefit state taxpayers.
The state leaders called for legislation that would give states greater flexibility to hire private contractors so that states can better manage welfare and entitlement programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition for Assistance Program (SNAP) – or food stamps – and unemployment insurance.
The Lt. governors wrote in their letter to McConnell:
Today, my colleagues and I ask for your help to further streamline and improve the delivery of government services in the realm of SNAP, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance programs. There are many barriers erected by federal laws and regulations that constrain both federal and state governments from utilizing the most efficient and effective business processes to administer these programs.
Current federal laws and policies mandate the use of government workers and prohibit the use of private-sector workers for certain administrative functions. In many cases, these government functions can be performed more effectively and affordably through private-sector partners or nonprofit organizations, rather by state employees.
The list of conservative Lt. Governors includes:
- North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest
- Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch
- Arkansas Lt. Governor Tim Griffin
- Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor
- Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg
- Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally
- Missouri Lt. Gov. Michael Parson
- West Virginia Lt. Gov. Mitch Carmichael
- North Dakota Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford
- Mississippi Lt. Gov Tate Reeves
“To this point, the Congressional Budget Office recently found that the government workers can cost as much as 53 percent more than private-sector workers,” the letter added.
The Lt. governors continued, “States need greater flexibility and accountability to better support individuals and households in accessing the health and welfare benefits for which they qualify, and moving them back into the workforce.”
The Lt. governors noted that an example of good legislation that would allow states the flexibility to implement private contractors in welfare and entitlement programs is H.R. 1333, the Freedom to Use Contracting Entities Act. Breitbart News conducted multiple exclusive interviews with the legislation’s sponsor, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA).
Rep. Carter told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview how his legislation would cut out waste, fraud, and abuse in welfare programs by hiring private contractors:
There’s no question we want to make sure that these people get these benefits, but we know that there is so much waste, fraud, and abuse that we can weed out a lot of it through private contractors. We’ll make sure that the people that truly need it get it in a timely fashion and will save the taxpayers money by making sure we cut out waste, fraud, and abuse.
I think giving the states the flexibility to contract with outside groups who can do a better job than the state agencies can, quite honestly. Let’s face it, state agencies are spread thin as it is and obviously they are not doing as good of a job as they can be. This is just an example of how we can give states more flexibility to do a better job. I think it’s going to make the programs better for those who truly need the programs.
Adam Meier, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s deputy chief of staff, called for greater state flexibility to hire private contractors to better service Medicaid, SNAP, and unemployment insurance in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, saying:
States are in the best position to determine how to staff their own workforces. There are several scenarios in which this flexibility can help a state. First, contracting can be a more cost-effective way to deliver services. With pensions and other legacy costs, it can be significantly more expensive to hire a state worker to do the same service. Second, contracts can include service level agreements that require certain milestones to be met, such as call line wait times or the number of applications processed. Often, contractors can achieve targets that a state workforce cannot with the same funding. Third, it would allow the same private contractors who are already conducting eligibility service for one program to do it for all programs in one application—something our technology allows for, but federal policy does not.
Meier added, “Ultimately, properly managed private contractors could deliver better services in a more cost-effective manner, benefiting taxpayers and program beneficiaries.”
“With your help, states can have much greater flexibility to drive change and make government more accountable,” the Lt. governors concluded in their letter. “We encourage you to take these simple steps to make government more cost-effective and efficient for our citizens.”