How was your summer? Did you have a strong finish to your third quarter at work?

Well if you’re like Tim Costa, you saved your state millions of dollars. Costa, the executive deputy secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, has purged over 113,000 cases from Pennsylvania Medicaid rolls since July, saving the Keystone State over $25 million in the process.

According to today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Costa “told House Republican lawmakers that officials examined cases over a three-month period and found thousands of Medicaid cases that should have been closed under existing state laws. He contended that previous administrators failed to consistently monitor eligibility and enforce regulations.”

It is believed that the Dept. of Public Welfare can save over a hundred million by cleaning up Medicaid rolls when it is all said and done.  It’s both refreshing and good news for Pennsylvania taxpayers that the folks in Gov. Corbett’s administration are rolling up their sleeves, cracking open the books, and cleaning up the mess left over by eight years of Ed Rendell. 

Ed Rendell’s tenure as governor is a perfect example of how raising taxes is what politicians do instead of prioritizing spending and imposing necessary reforms. Rendell was too busy pushing for perennial tax increases, funneling cash to corrupt mass transit systems, and burning countless taxpayer dollars on things such as shrines to fellow tax-and-spend Pennsylvania politicians like Arlen Specter and Jack Murtha.

The good news is that there is new management in Harrisburg and Gov. Corbett has tasked capable people like Tim Costa to dig in and clean of the mess left by Rendell. The work being done in Pennsylvania’s Dept. of Public Welfare is a model for other states,  and the federal government.

Indeed there is a thing or two the White House could learn from the Corbett administration. Despite Obama’s promise to comb through the budget “line by line” and identify savings during the ’08 campaign, annual federal spending has gone from $2.9 trillion to $3.8 trillion under the Obama administration. As I noted in the Philadelphia Inquirer following the completion of Pennsylvania’s current budget, Corbett’s inaugural spending plan represents a three percent year over year reduction in spending, something that hasn’t happened in Pennsylvania in decades. The thing is, when politicians like Rendell and Obama talk about “devastating spending cuts,” they are really talking about increasing spending less than they would like, not real cuts like those implemented this year by governors like Tom Corbett and Rick Perry.

While the White House just talks the talk on fiscal responsibility and good governance in taxpayer-funded campaign style events around the country, the Corbett administration is quietly walking the walk in Pennsylvania.