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With $19 billion a year spent on taxpayer-funded Medicaid programs and state-employee health insurance plans, Illinois’ governor hopes to root out waste, fraud and abuse. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner says the Health Care Fraud Elimination Task Force, which he created through executive order last Tuesday, will investigate best practices from around the country in an effort to find savings and in turn use that money for other vital services. Rauner says while working to find savings, the 12-member taskforce will also work to ensure the highest integrity of the programs. 

The governor couldn’t say specifically how much fraud there could be but put the figure in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year. According to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, a recent audit resulted in the removal of thousands of individuals listed as dependents from the state-employee group insurance plan, saving taxpayers an estimated $32 million. 

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