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Iowa Dem’s introduce bill to end Branstad’s Medicaid privatization

This news story was published on February 4, 2016.
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Iowa capitol

Iowa capitol

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Democrats continue to battle Governor Branstad and Republicans on their quest to privatize Medicaid, today introducing a bill to end that pursuit and make other health care changes.

Today, Democrats revealed the “Health Care Protection Act”, which they say “ends Medicaid privatization, will improve patient outcomes, increase access to care.” The bill was introduced in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

The bill directs the department of human services to provide 30 days’ written notice to terminate the contracts with each managed care organization with whom the department executed a contract to administer the Iowa high quality health care initiative.

Also, the bill directs the department to continue to pursue other initiatives to realign the health care delivery system and provide holistic, integrated, patient-centered care while moving toward a value-based model of payment, including but not limited to the healthiest state initiative, the Iowa health and wellness plan, the state innovation models initiative utilizing accountable care organizations, and integrated health homes.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

For months, Iowa Democrats have criticized the Governor’s plan, saying he is “trying to do too much, too fast and failing to protect Iowans”.

Democrats even called on President Obama and other key federal officials to deny Iowa’s application to establish a statewide private managed care system for Medicaid.

Instead, Democrats say Iowa should continue improving patient outcomes, increasing access to care and making the existing public management of Medicaid more efficient.

Governor Branstad says Medicaid costs are spiraling out of control and his plan would help protect the state from rising costs.

This new bill would face an uphill battle in the House – controlled by Republicans – and likely never get signed by the Governor.  There would likely not be enough support in the legislature to over-ride a veto.


Iowa Senate President Pam Jochum

Iowa Senate President Pam Jochum

Statement by Senate President Pam Jochum of Dubuque:

This week, legislation was introduced in the Iowa Senate to stop Governor Branstad’s unilateral decision to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid program.

Democrats support this legislation—Senate Study Bill 3081, also known as the “Health Care Protection Act”, because our constituents tell us the Governor’s plan is failing. Governor Branstad tried to do too much, too fast. As a result, he has failed to protect vulnerable Iowans.

We propose this legislation because there is no excuse for risking the health and wellbeing of more than 560,000 Iowans.

The “Health Care Protection Act” does two things.

One, it directs the Iowa Department of Human Services to immediately give notice of termination to the three private out-of-state managed care companies.

Two, it directs the State of Iowa to continue previous efforts to improve patient outcomes, increase access to care, and continue to make the public management of Medicaid more efficient.

This common sense legislation is necessary because Iowa still isn’t ready—even after a 60-day delay—to implement a privatized Medicaid system operated by for-profit, out-of-state companies.

Since the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delayed the privatization of Iowa’s Medicaid system in mid-December, the evidence shows that state officials and private companies have not taken steps to ensure the health and wellbeing Iowans receiving Medicaid services.

The main concerns Iowans raise include:

– An arbitrary and unrealistic implementation timeline
– The failure establish adequate provider networks
– Disruptions of longstanding patient-provider relationships
– Diminished quality and access to health care services
– Compromised patient care
– Inadequate communication with patients and providers

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2 Responses to Iowa Dem’s introduce bill to end Branstad’s Medicaid privatization

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 6, 2016 at 9:47 am

    No doubt the same people who counted the Iowa caucus votes and put Iowa on national tv as 1st in voting corruption for 2016.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 5, 2016 at 8:50 am

    What the Dems don’t want you to know! – Stock market tip – Invest in monkey toilet manufacturing companies – government contracts for million of these muslim monkey toilets will be let out with the arrival of Obe’s muslims – these toilets are already in great demand in European countries — Think I’m kidding you ? Look it up or go to Alex