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Ragan organizes Mason City listening post on local impact of Governor Branstad’s Medicaid changes

State Senator Amanda Ragan
State Senator Amanda Ragan
MASON CITY – State Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City is organizing a listening post in Mason City to hear health care concerns raised by the proposed privatization of Medicaid.

The meeting will take place at 10:00 AM Friday, October 9, in the NIACC Conference Center, 500 College Drive in Mason City.

“Local health care providers and families facing very challenging medical issues were blindsided by the move to turn the management of Medicaid over to private companies,” said Senator Ragan, the co-chair of the Iowa Legislature’s Health Policy Oversight Committee. “Iowans are asking very basic questions and we still haven’t heard the answers.”

By January 1, 2016, the administration of health care of more than a half million Iowans will be turned over to four managed care companies. According to the proposed contracts, administrative costs will jump from 3 to 15 percent, reaching a new total of $600 million. The only way to fund that increase in administrative costs is to deny services to Iowans, and cut payments to Iowa providers.

Under Governor Branstad, Iowa is moving to privatize Medicaid services faster and more completely than in any other state. Health care providers and Iowa families who rely on Medicaid services are concerned that critical medical services won’t reach people who need them and that the people who do the work will be shortchanged by the private Medicaid management companies.

“Medicaid privatization directly affects the health care of one in five Iowans,” said Ragan. “Every health care provider will be affected. If this messy start is a sign of things to come, major changes will be needed to make sure quality health care services remain available to local seniors, people with physical and mental disabilities, and mothers and children.”

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