From Rep. Sharon Steckman –
In a letter I sent this week, I joined other Senators and Representatives and requested that the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reject the Medicaid waiver applications submitted by Governor Branstad to privatize health care for 560,000 Iowans.
I have been hearing from constituents who are concerned with the direction and speed of the Governor’s plan to privatize Medicaid. I’m asking for a thorough evaluation to guarantee that cost savings don’t equate to poor health care for Iowa’s most vulnerable. With the Iowa Legislature already making strides in expanding access and improving the health and well-being of Iowans, we can’t afford to go backwards.
In August, Governor Branstad moved forward with a plan to privatize management of Iowa’s $4.2 billion Medicaid program by selecting four of the eleven managed care organizations (MCO) that applied to manage the services and billing of Medicaid in Iowa. Recent news reports have found the four companies selected have been charged with fraud or mismanagement in other states resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.
As new information has come to light, it’s important that we make sure no Iowan falls through the cracks because of the Governor’s rush to privatization.
In Iowa, about 560,000 low-income individuals, including children, those with disabilities and the elderly rely on Medicaid health insurance. Medicaid in Iowa spends less per person than the majority of other states, while still providing comprehensive coverage.