Manchin wants to stop double-dipping in benefits/ curb meth prod - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Manchin wants to stop double-dipping in benefits/ curb meth production

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WASHINGTON D.C.(WVVA) Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) says the U.S. is spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year on people who are simultaneously collecting unemployment and disability benefits.

According to the Government Accountability Office, in 2010 more than $850 million was spent on 117,000 individuals who collected overlapping payments from Disability Insurance (DI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. 

Manchin and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced a bill this week titled Reducing Overlapping Payments Act to stop people from "double-dipping."

"It does happen. it happens and we are looking at it very carefully, seeing how much it costs the federal government. We are looking at everything we can. The General Accounting Report shows us a pathway where we can save, do away with redundancies, do away with over-expenditures, do away with billions of dollars they have declared unneeded," says Sen. Joe Manchin.

Manchin is also encouraging West Virginia lawmakers to pass legislation to curb methamphetamine production. Manchin would like to see pseudoephedrine products, the primary ingredient in meth, rescheduled as a controlled substance.

According to Manchin, major pharmacies that operate in West Virginia including CVS, Fruth, Kmart, Rite Aid, and Walgreens have stopped selling medications over-the-counter that contain pseudoephedrine as the single active ingredient. These companies have also voluntarily adopted the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy's recommendations to limit the amount of the drug a person can buy monthly (3.6 grams) and yearly (24 grams).

"We only have two that won't help us and haven't complied voluntarily; Kroger and Walmart. We were hoping they would be good West Virginia Samaritans and help us with the problem. Since we can't get them to pull pseudoephedrine off the shelf, make it prescription," says Manchin.

We also spoke with Sen. Manchin about the decision by state lawmakers to repeal the West Virginia Alternative Renewable Energy Portfolio Act that would have required 25 percent of electricity produced and consumed to come from renewable sources like hydro, solar, and wind. For more on that issue, watch the full interview with Manchin attached to this article. 

*the interview is available on our mobile site in the "video" section

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