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Could Technology Upgrades Help Stop Welfare Fraud?

Pictured is the Massachusetts State House, where some lawmakers are calling for welfare reform to address controversies over welfare fraud. (Wikimedia Commons)
Pictured is the Massachusetts State House, where some lawmakers are calling for welfare reform to address controversies over welfare fraud. (Wikimedia Commons)

Officials in Massachusetts are investigating whether to file criminal or civil charges after an auditor’s report last month found that the state had handed out $18 million in questionable benefits — including welfare — to more than 1,000 dead people.

Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder just signed a law to make sure that dead people are not eligible for food assistance.

There have been calls for “entitlement reform,” but Melissa Threadgill, a Master in Public Policy student at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, argues that what’s really needed is data reform — upgrades to data systems that are years out of date.

Guest:

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