IA-Gov: Notes on the final Hubbell-Reynolds debate

Governor Kim Reynolds and Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell debated for the third and last time today in Davenport. Too bad not many viewers are likely to tune in at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning, because the discussion was yet another study in contrasts. For those who prefer a written recap, I enclose below my detailed notes. Click here and here for Bleeding Heartland’s analysis of the first two Hubbell-Reynolds debates.

As during the second debate, journalists kept the candidates on topic and within the time limit, so kudos to moderator David Nelson of KWQC-TV6 and panelists Erin Murphy of Lee Enterprises, Forrest Saunders of KCRG-TV9, and Jenna Jackson of KWQC-TV6.

Both candidates recycled many talking points from their first two meetings. My impression was that Reynolds performed about equally well in all three debates, while Hubbell improved each time. For instance, after Reynolds noted that Iowa had moved up in mental health rankings three years in a row and was now rated sixth in the country for mental health, Hubbell pointed out that the study the governor cited covered the years 2013 through 2015. That was before the Branstad/Reynolds administration closed some mental health institutions and privatized Medicaid, which has led to worse care for thousands of Iowans.

For those who prefer to watch the replay, KCRG-TV posted the video in a single file, which is the most user-friendly option. You can also find the debate on KWQC-TV (with closed captioning) and WOWT-TV’s websites, but you will have to watch a series of clips, with advertisements before each segment.

Continue Reading...

Former Iowa Medicaid carrier's financial sleight of hand

John Morrissey investigates anomalies in financial reports filed by AmeriHealth Caritas, which left Iowa’s Medicaid program last year. -promoted by desmoinesdem

A managed care company that left the Iowa Medicaid program last November financially engineered its first quarter report to state regulators this year, even as it dragged its feet in paying Iowa medical providers for claims that were then more than 90 days old.

AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa, Inc. claimed in its calendar first quarter filing with the Iowa Insurance Division (IID) that general administrative costs to run its Iowa operation totaled $20 million. But at the end of June, the company reduced that expense to $6 million without explanation.

Continue Reading...

Think Iowa's economy is improving? One key federal measure says no

Tax and budget policy expert Randy Bauer explains that although personal income has been rising across the country in recent years, Iowa is not doing as well in comparison to other states. -promoted by desmoinedem

How is Iowa doing, economy-wise, in comparison to other states? There are a variety of statistics and competing claims. I would argue that one key measure, which the federal government uses to figure out Iowa’s federal share of a very important program, suggests that Iowa is not doing as well in comparison to other states.

In fact, using this measure, Iowa has been falling behind for the last four years.

Continue Reading...

Rob Sand: If I'm elected, Medicaid MCOs will get subpoenas

Iowa’s disastrous Medicaid privatization is becoming an important theme of Rob Sand’s campaign for state auditor. While Republican incumbent Mary Mosiman was slow to embark on a review of the program and won’t promise to release her office’s findings before the November election, Sand has pledged to thoroughly investigate the operations of managed-care organizations (MCOs), which now make health care decisions affecting more than 600,000 Iowans.

Continue Reading...
View More...