No More Tricks!

Halloween is over…

Governor Branstad needs to put the brakes on his unilateral decision to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid program.

His plan is to turn over the care of more than a half million Iowans—that’s one in five of us—to four managed care companies by January 1, 2016. With this change, we will see administrative costs jump from 3 to 15 percent, reaching $600 million. At the same time, the overall cost to the state is supposed to fall by $100 million a year.

The math doesn’t add up.

The only way these companies can collect the multi-million dollar profits guaranteed them is by denying critical services to Iowans and by failing to fully pay local health care organizations for services they provide.

The managed care companies have yet to sign contracts with the state, so providers are being asked to sign contracts that don’t include reimbursement rates. Medicaid recipients and their families have good reason to be worried about the future.

The long term care of severely disabled adults and children makes up the bulk of Medicaid services in Iowa. Medicaid also covers prenatal care to pregnant women, health insurance for low-income children, and health care for low income seniors and others.

Iowans who depend on Medicaid and the people and organizations that care for them need more time!!

Here’s What You Can Do

1. Let the Health Policy Oversight Committee know what you think:
On Tuesday, November 3, in Room 116 of the Iowa Statehouse, the “Health Policy Oversight Committee” holds the first of its two meetings.*At this meeting, there will be opportunities for public comment at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM. Written comments can be sent to patty.funaro@legis.iowa.gov. IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT IOWA’S RUSH TO PRIVATIZE MEDICAID, THIS MEETING IS AN IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THEM.

2. Attend a public forum with state legislators:
– Clinton with Senators Hart and Mathis: Wednesday, November 4, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Clinton Community College – Auditorium (1000 Lincoln Boulevard in Clinton).
– Waverly with Senators Schoenjahn and Ragan: Monday, November 9, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Bremer Room of the Waverly Public Library (500 W. Bremer Avenue, Waverly)
– Manchester with Senate President Jochum: Thursday, November 12, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Manchester Public Library – Meeting Room (300 North Franklin Street).
– Council Bluffs with Senate Leader Gronstal: Friday, November 13, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs – Classroom A & B (800 Mercy Drive).
– Decorah with Senators Ragan and Bolkcom: Monday, November 16, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Luther College – Room 102 in Olin Building (700 College Drive).

3. Call on the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to DENY or SIGNIFICANTLY change the Governor’s proposal:
> Andrew Slavitt, Acting Administrator. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244. Or e-mail – andy.slavitt@cms.hhs.gov.
> Victoria Wachino, Deputy Administrator and Director, Medicaid and Chip Services – victoria.wachino1@cms.hhs.gov
> Eliot Fishman, Director, State Demonstrations – eliot.fishman@cms.hhs.gov
> James Golden, Director, Division of Managed Care Plans – james.golden@cms.hhs.gov
> Alissa Deboy, Acting Director, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group –alissa.deboy@cms.hhs.gov
> Debbie Dombrowski, Division of Managed Care Plans – debbie.dombrowski@cms.hhs.gov
> Jennifer Snow, HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs – jennifer.snow@hhs.gov
> Stephene Moore, Director, HHS Region VII – stephene.moore@hhs.gov

We all need to work together to make sure quality health care services remain available to local seniors, people with physical and mental disabilities, and mothers and children.

For more information, contact Sue Dinsdale at sdinsdale@iowacan.org

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