IOWA SENATE NEWS
For Immediate Release: May 29, 2018
DES MOINES – Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque has accepted Governor Reynolds’ offer to provide the numbers behind alleged Medicaid savings of hundreds of millions dollars.
“This is not about the politics, it’s about the numbers and Iowa families,” said Jochum, a legislative leader on health care issues. “That’s why I have accepted Governor Reynolds’s offer to meet with Medicaid Director Mike Randol and go over the numbers. This meeting should, of course, be open to the public and news media. Iowans have a right to know where and how their tax money is being spent. We are talking about hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, the financial survival of the state’s health care providers, and the lives of 600,000 Iowans and their families.”
Republican claims about the financial impact of Medicaid privatization have varied dramatically.* When the Des Moines Register filed an open records request for the facts, the Reynolds Administration released a one-page letter that was also sent to Senator Jochum. The Register was offered more information, but only on “background.”
“If money has been saved, I want to know how that happened,” said Jochum. “Did for-profit Medicaid suddenly improve the health of Iowans with serious health care challenges? My best guess is that most of the ‘savings’ came from failing to pay Iowa health care providers and forcing Iowa families to accept lower quality care.”
The Republican budget approved during the 2018 session did not include a firm estimate of the cost of Iowa Medicaid for the coming year.
“We all know for-profit Medicaid has been a disaster for Iowa families and health care providers,” said Jochum. “I believe it has also been a disaster for the state budget. Governor Reynolds, I look forward to a public review of the hundreds of millions of dollars Iowa has spent on privatized Medicaid and the reforms that will start fixing Iowa’s Medicaid mess.”
* Reynolds Administration Claims Regarding Privatized Medicaid Costs
|$232 million by FY 18||January 2015||Branstad/Reynolds Administration|
|$47.1 million for FY 18||December 2017||Reynolds Administration|
|$140.9 million (either annually OR cumulatively)||May 2018||Reynolds Administration|