Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa State Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan, along with five of his Republican colleagues joined Senate Democrats in voting to establish more oversight of the three private companies that will begin managing care for Iowa Medicaid patients April 1st. The bill would create a new legislative committee that would meet quarterly to review the program, plus there would be some limits on how much the private companies can profit from the new arrangements.
Senator Amanda Ragan, a Democrat from Mason City, says legislators have to be “the voice” of the 560-thousand Iowans who are currently on Medicaid.
Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan is urging his fellow Republicans to join the effort to establish more oversight in the both the legislative and executive branches of state government.
Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says private companies have been racking up “significant” profits in other states that have switched Medicaid patients into managed care plans.
Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale, another Republican who voted for the bill, says the process of awarding contracts to the three companies that will manage Iowa’s Medicaid program was “polluted” and “shameful”.
The bill now goes to the Republican-led Iowa House, where its future is unclear. Republican Governor Terry Branstad says there’s no need for additional oversight. He says that’s what the private companies have been hired to do.