Iowa Senate Rejects Branstad Plan On Medicaid

560,000 Iowans will be directly affected by privatization

560,000 Iowans will be directly affected by privatization

For what it is worth at this juncture let’s have a big hand for the Iowa Senate which passed SF 2125 Thursday that called for the termination of contracts for the managed care of Iowa’s Medicaid program. This is better known as Gov. Branstad’s attempt to ramrod privatization (profitization) of Iowa’s Medicaid program down the throats of Iowans without regard to patient care.

In case you have missed this battle, Iowa’s governor is much more concerned about giving our tax dollars to three managed care companies than he is about what quality of care those who depend Medicaid for their health care. Branstad has been laser focused on pushing this change through. Cynics among us might be tempted to note that the companies picked by the Branstad administration with no input from anyone were among major donors to Branstad’s most recent campaign. But as we all know quid pro quo is so hard to prove.

The senate passed the bill with 29 votes which was 26 democratic votes and 3 Republican votes. We commend the 3 Republicans who put public good before party loyalty.

Unfortunately, new Speaker of the House, Linda Upmeyer refuses to even bring the bill to the floor. From radioiowa.com:

This senate bill will not be considered in the Republican-led House, however. House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, a Republican from Clear Lake, suggested it’s a waste of time to pass a bill that will be vetoed by Governor Branstad.

May I remind folks that Speaker Upmeyer is the former chair of ALEC and currently serves as vice chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Board of Directors ALEC or the American Legislative Exchange Council is a conservative lobbying group underwritten to a great degree by the the Koch brothers. One of their goals is privatization of government functions.

Someone has suggested that perhaps a campaign to contact Speaker Upmeyer and request that she do her job and bring this bill to the floor for a vote. The Speaker’s contact numbers are through the House Switchboard at (515) 281-3221 or at 641-357-8807 or by email at linda.upmeyer@legis.ia.gov

Whether Branstad has threatened to veto this bill or not, Upmeyer owes it to the people of Iowa and especially the 560,000 Iowans who will be directly and most likely adversely affected by privatizing Medicaid to have their concerns heard in the legislature .

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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