A veteran and 2018 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is helping to uncover Medicaid fraud as part of his journey to become a lawyer.
Ben Bowers, 31, of North Little Rock, graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in political science in December 2018. With the ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer, Bowers put his degree to good use by gaining experience in state politics. He served as a senatorial aide for state Sen. Kim Hammer from December 2018 to April 2019.
“As Sen. Hammer’s aide, I would read and summarize proposed legislation and report any issues that might counter his ideology,” Bowers said. “When Sen. Hammer would present a bill in committee, other representatives and members of the community would voice their concerns. I would write reports on their concerns so he could address them.”
After the spring 2019 legislative session closed, Bowers began work as a legal support analyst with the Arkansas Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.
“My job is similar to paralegal work with a lot of research involved,” Bowers said. “I do the initial phase of investigation when someone calls and reports a provider or homecare aid cheating on Medicaid. I also prepare exhibits for use in court.”
Bowers graduated from Benton High School in 2006 and joined the U.S. Army. During his four years in service, Bowers earned two Army Commendation Medals and the Iraq Campaign Medal for his deployments in Iraq and Kuwait.
Upon his return to Arkansas, Bowers joined University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, having always wanted to complete his college education. Unfortunately, Bowers struggled during his first post-service years and faced bouts of unemployment, homelessness, and legal problems.
He earned his Associate of Arts degree in general studies from Pulaski Tech in 2017 and transferred to UA Little Rock, where he participated in the Model Arab League and the Little Rock Congregations Study.
“My UA Little Rock professors that stand out the most for me are Dr. Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm and Dr. Rebecca Glazier of the Department of Political Science and Dr. Kristin Mann of the Department of History,” Bowers said. “Dr. Brahm was willing to meet with me and helped me craft my personal letter for law school. Dr. Glazier does the Model Arab League, and you can really tell she cares about her students.”
In 2017, Bowers also become a volunteer with Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, a national nonprofit organization that engages, assists, and empowers members of the military, law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and first responders.
Bowers is applying to law schools for the fall and is grateful for a job where he feels like he is making a difference.
“I feel like I am contributing to society and doing something meaningful,” Bowers said. “The Medicaid program provides good help to many low-income people. We try to stop people from abusing the system and to pay back what they have stolen so there are funds available for the people who really need it.”