Des Moines, Iowa — A bill to establish more state oversight after 560-thousand Iowa Medicaid patients are shifted into privately-run managed care plans was up for debate in the Iowa Senate on Tuesday. Senator Amanda Ragan, a Democrat from Mason City, says with nearly five-and-a-half billion dollars in state money being spent on the program next year, the legislature should ensure health care providers are properly paid and patients have some sort of recourse if they’re denied care.
Senator David Johnson, a Republican from Ocheyedan, also has been raising concerns about privatizing Medicaid.
But Governor Branstad objects.
Branstad says he’s willing to hire a few more state workers to handle complaints from patients and Iowa health care providers once Medicaid is privatized April 1st.
Branstad says since the private companies will have their own employees to take complaints and resolve disputes, there’s no need to hire dozens of state workers to “oversee the overseers.” Branstad made his comments this weekend during an appearance on Iowa Public Television.