Medicaid bills deserve a hearing

Jenn Wolff of Waverly is a member of Upgrade Medicaid.

Iowans with all different kinds of disabilities, their families, caregivers, and allies have spoken out about the need for changes to Medicaid since the Branstad-Reynolds administration privatized the program more than five years ago.

The U.S. Department of Justice report on state-run institutions in Glenwood and Woodward, released in December 2021, provides additional evidence of pervasive bias and segregation, caused by Iowa's failure to invest in Home and Community Based Services.

My question to all Iowa elected officials and legislators is, why does legislation seeking to improve Medicaid die without discussion or opportunity for public comment?

Democratic State Senators Amanda Ragan and Liz Mathis have introduced three bills this year to address problems with Medicaid:

  • Senate File 2065 - An Act relating to claims incorrectly denied or underpaid by Medicaid managed care organizations
  • Senate File 2066 - An Act relating to Medicaid program improvements
  • Senate File 2067 - An Act relating to the reimbursement of providers under the Medicaid program.

It’s time to figuratively take our head out of the sand with Medicaid issues and at least make room to have a public debate. Contact your state senator today to ask when Senate File 2065, 2066 and 2067 subcommittee meetings will be scheduled.  

Editor's note from Laura Belin: This week is the first "funnel" deadline of the Iowa legislature's 2022 session. Most bills not related to taxes or spending must be approved by at least one Iowa House or Senate committee by February 18, or they will be considered "dead" for the year.

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