video: 3:50 – This seemed like a good place for a good word about Fred Hubbell
Just in case you missed this story, it is definitely worth taking some tome to read through. Looks like Governor Reynolds is so invested in the privatized Medicaid system that critics are not welcome on the Iowa Medical Assistance Advisory Council. If there are only those who approve of what the MCOs (Managed Care Organization) are doing then any board becomes little more than a rubber stamp.
In this case, David Hudson spent two years as the co-chair of the Advisory Council. He believes he was not re-appointed to the Council because he asked too many tough questions:
“I felt that I was asking the questions the governor should have been asking,” he said in an interview at his Windsor Heights home. “… I guess I pushed back too hard or something.”
Hudson, 61, served as a lobbyist for then-Gov. Terry Branstad in the 1990s. He said Branstad, a fellow Republican, appointed him as co-chairman of the Medicaid council two years ago because of his experience caring for his profoundly disabled son, Matthew. Matthew, 30, is covered by Medicaid, the joint state and federal health-care program.
Hudson said he initially supported Branstad’s 2015 decision to hire private companies to manage care for the 600,000 Iowans on Medicaid. But he said he felt a duty to speak up when he saw those companies cut crucial services to his son and other Iowans with disabilities.
Hudson believes his detailed inquiries led Branstad’s successor, Reynolds, to deny his request for reappointment when his council term expired June 30.
Reynolds and other supporters of private Medicaid management say it is leading to more efficient, effective care. Critics say privatization has led to drastic cuts in services for disabled people and piles of unpaid bills to the agencies that provide their care.”
Be sure to read the whole story to see where it is at right now.
While the Medicaid Privatization in Iowa has been, simply stated, a disaster, it only serves to illustrate a much larger problem that Republicans have in Iowa. They only govern for a small segment of the population. That segment does not include the poor, the middle class, seniors, women, children or just about any group you can name that is not rich.
Branstad was a bit better about hiding the favoring of the rich. Reynolds is much less schooled at doing so and seems to not really care. She is worried about being re-elected and cares little about actually governing. She knows that campaigns run on dollars and she knows who has the dollars.
In contrast to the governor, Fred Hubble came out early and strong on returning the management of the Medicaid program to the state. This is for the benefit of the customers of the program – the patients who must rely on the services provided by Medicaid:
“Governor Reynolds’ Medicaid privatization crisis deepened in the last few weeks as more revelations emerged of her failed for-profit healthcare program. A July 6th article in the Des Moines Register exposed Medicaid private managers’ repeated attempts to deny care to Jamie Campbell, a paralyzed Iowan from Fontanelle. Gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell reacted immediately to this Iowan’s continued suffering while Reynolds stubbornly refuses to accept responsibility.
“We cannot stand for this. On Day One as governor, I will work to bring Medicaid back under state control, for Mr. Campbell and the thousands of Iowans like him that are trapped in an endless cycle of appeals for care they desperately need,” said Hubbell.
Meanwhile, Reynolds still claims her for-profit Medicaid program is working. In an interview last month on Iowa Public Radio, she cavalierly dismissed the numerous reports of patients losing care.
“I can say to them this is patient-focused, proactive. We want to make sure that we’re getting the outcomes that we, that they deserve and that we have a system that’s sustainable,” said Reynolds.”
While Republicans have denied it from day one of Branstad’s unilateral decision to privatize Medicaid in Iowa, the emphasis has been on profits for the management companies and not patient care.
And who knows, maybe with Fred Hubbell as governor, maybe we could get some honest answers about how much this privatization has really cost Iowans. We can’t get them now.