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Vigilance Needed with Private Medicaid

August 5, 2016
Steve Sodders - IA State Senator , Dysart Reporter

Senate Democrats are listening and remain committed to addressing the difficulties private Medicaid has created for patients, health care providers and caregivers.

We tried to prevent these problems when a bipartisan Senate majority voted to stop the transition to private Medicaid (SF 2125), but the Republican-controlled House refused to consider the bill.

Instead, we continue to hear from Iowans struggling to cut through the Medicaid red tape. Legislative Democrats have held help sessions in communities across the state to ensure they get the assistance and answers they need.

When Rep. Mark Smith and I recently hosted a help and listening session in Marshalltown, Iowans with disabilities, caregivers, patient advocates and health care providers shared their frustrations with Governor Branstad's privatized Medicaid.

The Marshalltown forum and others around the state prepared legislators for a recent meeting of the Senate Human Resources Committee, where the Iowa Department of Human Services and Managed Care Organizations were asked what they're doing to fix the ongoing Medicaid problems.

We must be vigilant about holding them accountable and insisting they do better by Iowa patients, health care providers and taxpayers. We will expect further updates and progress when the Health Policy Oversight Committee meets August 29 at the Statehouse.

Bipartisan Medicaid oversight legislation, approved as part of this year's Health & Human Services Budget (HF 2460), will help in the push for improvements. It sets standards for Medicaid services to ensure patients get the care they need, and calls for expanded reporting on consumer protections, health outcomes and program integrity.

You can follow our efforts, find out about upcoming meetings and subscribe to Medicaid updates at



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