U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack joined Iowans and advocates to recognize Medicaid Awareness Month and the importance of health care for Iowa families yesterday. April is Medicaid Awareness Month, and on a press conference call speakers highlighted the benefits of expansion under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the disaster of Medicaid privatization in Iowa.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate has fallen by 5 percent in rural parts of Iowa, and by expanding Medicaid, Iowa helped 143,400 gain coverage through the program. Unfortunately the state of Iowa turned the Medicaid program over to private managed care organizations, who have mismanaged the program terribly. One provider, UnitedHealthcare, recently pulled out of the program, jeopardizing the coverage of more than 400,000 Iowans. And the federal government has opened an investigation as to “whether Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program is denying services to disabled Americans.”
Participants on the call talked about the importance of Medicaid, as well as threats facing the program:
“Millions of Americans are covered by Medicaid,” said Brad Woodhouse, President of Protect Our Care. “It is among the most appreciated & popular government programs around, rivaled only by Medicare and Social Security.”
“If I’m left without coverage, then I’m left without a [wheelchair],” said Eric Donat, a patient advocate from Waterloo, who lost his coverage due to UnitedHealthcare pulling out of the program.
“The transition from public to private-managed [Medicaid] has been nothing short of a disaster,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack. “It’s time to return the program back to the control of the state.”
“The attacks are coming from every direction on affordable health coverage,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa, referring to
Yesterday’s press call was hosted by Progress Iowa and Protect Our Care. A recording of the call is available by clicking here or in the link below.