Warwick, RI–Ken Block, Moderate Party Candidate for Governor, is the first gubernatorial candidate to receive a “True” ranking on PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter scale. After a month of investigating, PolitiFact concluded that the statement Block made in his first commercial, “I helped to invent a system that saved over a billion dollars on welfare,” was true.
As a software engineer, Block was a leading member of a team put together by GTECH Corporation that created the country’s first statewide debit card system adopted in 1995 by the Health and Human Services Commission of Texas.
Block’s role in the creation of the EBT Debit Card System for Texas (The Texas Lone Star Card) was largely in the designing and coding of the database that stores all of the information for the system. There were 3 primary goals which drove the federal government to mandate that all states adopt an EBT system for delivering Food Stamp and Cash Assistance benefits: 1) De-stigmatizing those who receive and use the benefits; 2) Streamline the redemption process for retailers who accept these benefits and 3) Reduce waste and fraud by computerizing what had been a wholly paper-based system. With this new system in place, the state of Texas saved over a billion dollars by cutting the costs of printing and shipping food stamps, eliminating the production of counterfeit stamps, preventing multiple addresses from being used, and tracking fraudulent vendors.
If elected Governor, Block says he will implement similar software across health and human services programs in Rhode Island to eliminate waste and fraud, particularly in Medicaid.
“States that have a system of technology-based fraud detection in place realize between ten to twenty percent of waste and fraud in their Medicaid program,” said Block. “Rhode Island’s Medicaid system (when you round up) is an almost two billion dollar program. By utilizing technology, we could possibly identify between $200 and $400 million in waste in this program alone. Rather than raising taxes, laying off personnel and cutting programs, I believe we can come close to closing our budget deficit if we implement this type of technology across all of our health and human services programs.”
Block is the first gubernatorial candidate to receive a “True” ranking on PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter.
“Ken Block has a proven track record of solving problems and sets himself apart from the other candidates because he has real, long-term plans for fixing Rhode Island,” said Block’s Campaign Manager, Christine Hunsinger. “This verdict shows that unlike his opponents, whose claims are shockingly substance free, the statements Ken makes have weight behind them. Rhode Island needs an honest governor with real plans to turn this state around.”
Block’s experience as a small business owner sets him apart from his opponents. Not only does he have experience with this waste and fraud technology, but he also understands what small businesses need to thrive in Rhode Island.