Maybe it is because I am getting into my cantankerous time of life. Maybe I am just getting really cynical after being lied to by people trying to make my money theirs. But when I hear Kim Reynolds on TV claiming that her administration has turned into some kind of heaven I immediately think what a pile from a CAFO.
Just in the last couple of weeks we had another reminder of what Reynolds stands for. She earned the name “Corporate Kim” by giving corporations pretty much everything they want. Nowhere is that more clear than the privatization of Medicaid here in Iowa. Once again the Reynolds administration ponied up another bucket load of money for the corporations to run a program that the state was running for about 1/10th of the cost.
I will admit I do not have the hard numbers, but my recollection was that before Reynolds and Branstad turned Iowa’s Medicaid program over to the for profit insurance companies Iowa was doing the administrative work for around 2%. At that time the program was about a $5 billion program. That meant that the cost was about $100 million per year.
That may seem like a lot but it is a spit in the ocean compared to what the insurance companies are charging Iowans. Last I recall they were taking 15% off the top. There have been raises since then. So I’m not sure what the current compensation to the insurance companies is out of a now $7 billion program, but let’s say for the purpose of argument it is nearing 20%.
20% of a 7 billion program is $1.4 billion or approximately 10 times more than what the state could possibly do it for when the radical right wing administration privatized the program. That’s about $1.25 billion that should have gone to patient care and medications. It is your money. Plus the program was run much better.
But some critics argued that no matter which companies administered the program, the privatized system itself would continue to cause problems.
“Privatized Medicaid has failed to save tax dollars or make Iowans healthier,” state Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott, D-Waukee, said in a statement. “Year after year, the Reynolds’ administration has disrupted the lives of Iowans while refusing to provide real oversight or accountability. Iowans need new leadership.”
If one grossly mismanaged program with huge buckets of money going to third parties who add no value to the process of health care, just wait until you hear about the radical right’s plan to privatize our school system. Remember last summer when Reynolds weighed in against members of her own party in primary races because these members did not support her plan to destroy Iowa’s public school system?
The radical right in America has public school systems as one of their top targets. The plan is to syphon public money away from the public school systems and give that money in some form such as vouchers to privatized school systems. Often these school systems will be religious in nature. There will probably little to no rules or standards that such schools will have to follow nor will there be public oversight in the form of school boards.
You can read up on how successful this arrangement has worked out in New York City where Hasidic Jews avoid public schools and ‘educate’ their children in private religious schools here. The city pours money into these schools and the kids come out illiterate with poor math skills. While this may be the exception, without oversight we could see privatized schools degenerate to this in a hurry.
Strange that a plan to destroy public schools would ever be looked on favorably. Rather it would seem to make a lot more sense to use that money into renovating our public school system and making it world class.
Finally we have this take on the job situation in Iowa from Matt Sinovic at Progress Iowa:
IOWA JOBS REPORT: Corporate Kim’s agenda is forcing Iowans out
Des Moines, Iowa — Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement in response to the August Jobs Report from Iowa Workforce Development:
“Iowans take pride in making our state a great place to live, work and raise a family. But for years, Republican leaders like Governor Kim Reynolds have implemented policies that are forcing Iowans to leave the state.
“Nearly 35% of Iowa college graduates end up leaving the state, moving to places like Illinois, Minnesota and California. Despite adding 3,800 jobs in August, there are still nearly double the number of open jobs than there are unemployed Iowans. Those Iowans who do have jobs aren’t making enough to adequately support their families.
“All of this is a direct outcome of Corporate Kim Reynolds’ anti-worker agenda. She has slashed earned unemployment benefits, blocked wage increases and stripped workers of their collective bargaining rights. Time after time, Gov. Reynolds has sided with wealthy corporations over working Iowans, and the end result is a less-desirable Iowa.
“We deserve better. Iowa workers need leaders who will support them and grow our economy by making our state a more attractive and welcoming place for all.”
Iowa’s Democrats running for the legislature and the Democratic nominee for governor, Deidre DeJear will work to bring Iowa’s priorities back to being people focused and away from the corporate management. Return Iowa to Iowans this fall – vote for Deidre DeJear for governor and Democrats for the legislature.
Aren’t you tired of seeing the radical right rob from the poor and give to the rich?