Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn spent Saturday answering questions about why an estimated $12 million was spent on Medicaid payments to roughly 2,900 dead people in the state.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn speaks as he and his Republican rival, Bruce Rauner, appear together for the first time before the 2014 general election, during the annual meeting of the Illinois Education Association Friday, April 11, 2014, in Chicago. (AP/M. Spencer Green)

“We’ve already recouped a great deal of the money,” Quinn told reporters Saturday in Chicago, the Associated Press reported. “We intend to get every single penny.”

The AP obtained an internal state government memo on Friday through the Freedom of Information Act that said state auditors compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database last June with state death records dating back to 1970 and identified overpayments to 2,900 people after the date of their deaths.

The memo said more than $7 million of the $12 million was recovered and the state expects to recoup the rest by the end of 2014.

Quinn, facing a tough re-election battle this year, stressed that the goal is to have “zero tolerance for any kind of mistake.”

“The important thing is to recoup every dollar for the taxpayers. We’re doing exactly that,” Quinn said.

A spokesman for Bruce Rauner, Quinn’s Republican opponent, told the AP, the matter was “another troubling sign pointing towards Pat Quinn’s inability to run state government.”

(H/T Quad Cities Online)

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