Who could have guessed that privatizing Medicaid would lead to for-profit companies cutting essential services to Iowans with disabilities? Aside from anyone who spent five minutes reading how the same approach had played out in Kansas?
When Iowa Democratic lawmakers sounded the alarm two and a half years ago, Governor Terry Branstad and his aides dismissed the warnings as “Washington D.C.-style partisan attacks.” They insisted privatization would allow Iowa patients to “enjoy the increased quality of service and care that comes with modern plans administering Medicaid.”
Instead, thousands received less in-home care or had trouble accessing medications and services after private insurance companies began managing their cases. The state now faces a class action lawsuit on behalf of 15,000 Iowans with disabilities.
Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven admitted yesterday what should have been obvious from the start: letting for-profit companies control access to health care for people with disabilities makes no sense.