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Senator Jochum accepts Governor Reynolds’ offer to reveal the numbers supporting claims of Medicaid savings

This news story was published on May 30, 2018.
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DES MOINES – Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque has accepted Governor Reynolds’s offer to provide the numbers behind alleged Medicaid savings of hundreds of millions dollars.

The announcement comes days after Jochum said Auditor Mosiman’s office should subpoena documents from the Reynolds Administration and from private companies to determine if “Iowans are really saving money by paying out of state, for-profit insurance companies to care for our most vulnerable.”

“This is not about the politics, it’s about the numbers and Iowa families,” said Jochum, a legislative leader on health care issues. “That’s why I have accepted Governor Reynolds’s offer to meet with Medicaid Director Mike Randol and go over the numbers.  This meeting should, of course, be open to the public and news media.  Iowans have a right to know where and how their tax money is being spent.  We are talking about hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, the financial survival of the state’s health care providers, and the lives of 600,000 Iowans and their families.”

Republican claims about the financial impact of Medicaid privatization have varied dramatically.*  When the Des Moines Register filed an open records  request for the facts, the Reynolds Administration released a one-page letter that was also sent to Senator Jochum.  The Register was offered more information, but only on “background.”

Iowa Senator Pam Jochum

“If money has been saved, I want to know how that happened,” said Jochum.  “Did for-profit Medicaid suddenly improve the health of Iowans with serious health care challenges? My best guess is that  most of the ‘savings’ came from failing to pay Iowa health care providers and forcing Iowa families to accept lower quality care.”

The Republican budget approved during the 2018 session did not include a firm estimate of the cost of Iowa Medicaid for the coming year.

“We all know for-profit Medicaid has been a disaster for Iowa families and health care providers,” said Jochum.  “I believe it has also been a disaster for the state budget.  Governor Reynolds, I look forward to a public review of the hundreds of millions of dollars Iowa has spent on privatized Medicaid and the reforms that will start fixing Iowa’s Medicaid mess.”

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