(Written By Judi Franco – NJ 101.5 / Republished with permission)
Alleged food stamp And Medicaid fraud by Orthodox Jews? Not that big of a story, honestly.
Well, it is to a lot of people, but only cause they’re Jews. And religious ones. From Lakewood ( which always makes for an interesting story).
I mean, how do these otherwise devout, decent people succumb to temptation like this? The answer is: We’ve made it simple.
It needs to be said that there is no defense for acts of fraud. If found guilty, these people have committed crimes and should be punished for them. But Food stamp and Medicaid fraud has a long and rich history in this country, pretty much since we started giving stuff away. In the ’40s, when the food stamp program was first initiated to pull folks out of the Great Depression, the stealing began right away.
Unfortunately, less than six months after the USDA implemented this first federal food-stamp initiative, shop owners were arrested, mischarging customers paying with the stamps thereby playing the system. By the ’60s, it was poor blacks and Latinos who sold their coupons to store merchants for cash. In the ’70s, mobsters and gang members of all stripes were able to procure everything from guns to homes to prostitutes with black market food stamps.
Though now these programs use debit cards to make it harder to treat benefits as commodities, the system is ripe for picking. That’s why we have to stop giving stuff away. Because some people are gonna be tempted to abuse the system, Jewish or otherwise.
But let’s put this into perspective: Lets say there are 50 arrests. Or even 100 arrests. There are still 80,000-plus Orthodox Jews in Lake (the real population size of Lakewood, according to the township, is 125,000). Compare that to arrests in any other city or community. Jews, on the criminal totem pole, are still pretty low.
In terms of Medicaid fraud, here are some numbers from the state comptroller’s office: In 2015, $771 million in fraudulent claims were avoided by proactive antifraud efforts in New Jersey. So, apparently are a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds are abusing this system — including, doctors, hospitals, rich and poor, black and white, Jews, Muslims, Christians and atheists. $771 MILLION! I think that warrants more hysteria than this tiny segment of the New Jersey populace does. And requires us to think about whether it’s time to stop giving away money all together!
But this little slice of Lakewood will always mystify and anger people, whether it commits crimes or not. Cause let’s face it: Medicaid fraud is rampant in this state and always has been. It’s just much more interesting to people when Jews do it.