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Senator Ragan: More Medicaid problems for Iowans

Amanda Ragan
The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:

Loss of MCO means more Medicaid problems for Iowans

Privatized, for-profit Medicaid continues to cause chaos and uncertainty for Iowa families, health care providers and taxpayers.

Last week, we learned that UnitedHealthcare is leaving Iowa’s Medicaid managed care program. UnitedHealthcare currently is the MCO for more than 70 percent of Iowans on Medicaid. That means 425,000 Iowans will again have their health care disrupted, as they are forced to switch insurance companies. This could put our most vulnerable in life or death situations.

This is just the latest in a series of problems that have plagued privatized Medicaid since its inception three years ago in Iowa. Democrats have offered ideas for meaningful improvements—but time and again, they fall on deaf ears.

Elected officials should listen to Iowans who depend on Medicaid, and to health care providers, family care givers and tax payers. Together, Iowans can fix our broken health care system. We can turn this problem into a success that will make our state healthier, stronger and a more attractive place to live.

If you agree, please sign our petition and join Democratic lawmakers in calling on Statehouse Republicans to fix Iowa’s failed Medicaid privatization experiment. Go to sign the petition and share it with others who share our concerns!

Ensuring family caregivers have information they need

A bill to help Iowa’s 317,000 family caregivers who ensure their loved ones can live independently at home passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support and awaits the Governor’s signature.

SF 210—the Iowa CARE Act—allows Iowans to designate a caregiver who will be given instructions to care for them when they are discharged from a hospital.

The CARE Act has four main components:

  • Designate – If a patient designates a family caregiver, that person’s name will be recorded when the patient is admitted to a hospital.
  • Notify – The caregiver will be notified when the patient is to be discharged.
  • Consult – The hospital will discuss with the caregiver their abilities and limitations.
  • Instruct – The hospital will explain the patient’s care needs and the medical tasks they require, such as medication management, injections and wound care.

Iowa is one of only 13 states that do not have such provisions for family caregivers. SF 210 will give Iowans the same type of protections that caregivers across the country already enjoy.

For more on the CARE Act and how it can help Iowans, go to

This week, many undergraduate students from Iowa, ISU and UNI brought what they are learning to the Iowa Statehouse. They created large posters highlighting the research that they are doing with their faculty mentors. Senator Jochum and I talked with Gabrielle Duncan, a student from the University of Iowa, and her father about her research on aging.
Father Kenneth Gehling is the Chaplain at Mercy One Medical Center in Mason City. He traveled to Des Moines last week to deliver the opening prayer for the Legislature, as he has for many years.

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They should just cancel all medicaid and make them buy their own insurance. All this means is they have to use a different insurance carrier. Old lying Amanda would never tell you that.

And how can low-fixed income people afford that? I don’t mean the welfare and food stamp crowd, but the elderly, or people who were laid off for illness/injury. Social security and disability were meant to help cover the basics: food, rent, utilities. It was never meant to cover the ancillary and unexpected expenses that crop up during ones existence.

I see lots of people who have motorcycles, two cars, a pickup and campers and still ride disability and Iowa Works

There are lots of people gaming the system and that needs to stop. Now that being said there are also lots of people that really need it. When I see two people drawing Medicaid that smoke cigarettes, are drunk on alcohol every single day, smoke pot every day and do and sell drugs while never actually working and living on section 8, drawing food stamps and living off charity it just flat pisses me off.

The cheapest you will find health insurance for over 55 people is around $18,000 a year for $2000 deductible. SS will pay you less than that.

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