Dems: Opening remarks on SF 2213, oversight for Medicaid privatization

March 1, 2016



(Bill summary:


Despite its disappointing and troubling start, Medicaid privatization is moving forward.

We’ve been told the problems, the conflicts of interest, and even apparent threats to the continued care of disabled Iowans will be worked out soon.   I certainly hope so.

If everything is ready April 1, it will be the first major deadline that the program has actually met.

The Human Resources Committee is bringing this Medicaid oversight legislation before you today with the unanimous support of our Republican and Democratic members.

The task before us now is protecting Iowans with tough, bipartisan oversight and accountability.  Our job is to protect the health care safety net for Iowa families. We are all one accident or illness away from depending on Medicaid.

Iowa’s health care safety net is simply too important to turn over to out-of-state corporations.

The intent of this legislation is to safeguard the interests of Medicaid members, encourage the participation of Medicaid providers, and protect Iowa taxpayers.

In addition to vigorous government oversight with significant stakeholder involvement, we must require DHS and the managed care companies to protect consumers, preserve provider networks, address the unique needs of children and assure accountability.

We must also ensure that Medicaid dollars continue to make system improvements

Here are the ways Senate File 2213 will accomplish these goals:

  1. Enhance the role and responsibilities of the Health Policy Oversight Committee
  2. Execute a comprehensive review of program integrity
  3. Create Medicaid Reinvestment Fund (will finance system improvements and fund the Ombudsman program)
  4. Assign duties and authority to the Managed Care Ombudsman Program
  5. Expand and enhance of the Medical Assistance Advisory Council
  6. Direct DHS to make specific improvements in the areas of: consumer protections, children, provider participation enhancement, rates and payments, data collection, and evaluation and oversight

 It is undeniable that Governor Branstad took a “too much, too fast” approach to Medicaid privatization. 

 That’s why the federal government imposed two delays. 

 Much more importantly, that’s why Iowans are repeatedly, urgently speaking out.  Every legislator in the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House, every legislator in both political parties, has been contacted by those Iowans.

 There are too many unanswered questions, about who will provide oversight and how and where individuals will get services.

 This Medicaid Privatization program is destined to harm the very people it was supposed to help.  Apparently, it was designed by those who know the cost of everything but understand the value of nothing.

 This legislation is our bipartisan response to those concerns.


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