Dems: Jochum: Senate will vote on ending Medicaid Privatization

February 4, 2016
By

February 4, 2016

 

Statement by Senate President Pam Jochum of Dubuque

This week, legislation was introduced in the Iowa Senate to stop Governor Branstad’s unilateral decision to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid program.

Democrats support this legislation—Senate Study Bill 3081, also known as the “Health Care Protection Act”, because our constituents tell us the Governor’s plan is failing.  Governor Branstad tried to do too much, too fast.  As a result, he has failed to protect vulnerable Iowans.

We propose this legislation because there is no excuse for risking the health and wellbeing of more than 560,000 Iowans.

The “Health Care Protection Act” does two things.

One, it directs the Iowa Department of Human Services to immediately give notice of termination to the three private out-of-state managed care companies.

Two, it directs the State of Iowa to continue previous efforts to improve patient outcomes, increase access to care, and continue to make the public management of Medicaid more efficient.

This common sense legislation is necessary because Iowa still isn’t ready—even after a 60-day delay—to implement a privatized Medicaid system operated by for-profit, out-of-state companies.

Since the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delayed the privatization of Iowa’s Medicaid system in mid-December, the evidence shows that state officials and private companies have not taken steps to ensure the health and wellbeing Iowans receiving Medicaid services.

The main concerns Iowans raise include:

  • An arbitrary and unrealistic implementation timeline
  • The failure establish adequate provider networks
  • Disruptions of longstanding patient-provider relationships
  • Diminished quality and access to health care services
  • Compromised patient care
  • Inadequate communication with patients and providers

-end-

 

The full text of Senate Study Bill 3081 is below and is also available on the Iowa Legislature’s website at http://tinyurl.com/hsoh46l.

Section 1.  TERMINATION OF MEDICAID MANAGED CARE CONTRACTS —— ALTERNATIVES FOR HEALTH CARE DELIVERY AND PAYMENT REFORM.
1.  The department of human services shall, upon the effective date of this Act, provide thirty days’ written notice in accordance with the termination provisions of the contract, to each managed care organization with whom the department executed a contract to administer the Iowa high quality health care initiative, to terminate all such contracts.
2.  The department shall continue to pursue other initiatives to realign the health care delivery system and provide holistic, integrated, patient-centered care while moving toward a value-based model of payment reform, including but not limited to the healthiest state initiative, the Iowa health and wellness plan created pursuant to chapter 249N, the state innovation models initiative utilizing accountable care organizations, and integrated health homes.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE UPON ENACTMENT.  This Act, being deemed of immediate importance, takes effect upon enactment.

EXPLANATION

The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with

 

the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.

This bill directs the department of human services to provide 30 days’ written notice, upon the effective date of the Act, to terminate the contracts with each managed care organization with whom the department executed a contract to administer the Iowa high quality health care initiative.

The bill directs the department to continue to pursue other initiatives to realign the health care delivery system and provide holistic, integrated, patient-centered care while moving toward a value-based model of payment, including but not limited to the healthiest state initiative, the Iowa health and wellness plan created pursuant to Code chapter 249N, the state innovation models initiative utilizing accountable care organizations, and integrated health homes.

The bill takes effect upon enactment.

 

 

 

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