DHHS Learning from Enron’s Accountants?
The Bangor Daily News reported that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has delayed $39.6 million in Medicaid claims one week to push the transaction into the 2009 fiscal year, which began on July 1. Apparently, accrual accounting is necessary for businesses, but playing games with cash transactions to balance the books is just business as usual for Augusta.
It is because of such games that the Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued GASB Statement 45 to require governments to report future retiree liabilities accurately. In March 2008, The Maine Heritage Policy Center released a report noting that Maine has promised to pay its state employees and teachers $4,756,000,000 in unfunded retiree pension and health care benefits. Clearly the strategy in Augusta is just to “push” that $4.8 billion bill onto our children and grandchildren and future elected officials.