SPOTLIGHT: New York Medicaid program under fire

Pataki administration officials in New York are defending themselves from charges that the health department has been lax in pursuing Medicaid fraud. An investigative report by The New York Times several months ago found widespread abuse throughout the state, leading to calls to reform the program. Executive Deputy Commissioner Dennis Whalen told a special session of the New York State assembly that the newspaper report exaggerated the extent of the problem and did not accurately describe New York's efforts to curb fraud. New York's health commissioner did not attend the hearing, citing a scheduling conflict. Story