Letter: Health of Iowans must be priority

Something’s wrong with the current state of Iowa Medicaid if The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) is not getting paid for the services they provide as reported by The Gazette.

The managed care organizations (MCOs) that took over Medicaid once it was privatized under Gov. Terry Branstad are blindly denying claims made by UIHC, causing operating costs to increase dramatically. This is just another chapter in the unfolding saga of the failure of Iowa’s privatized Medicaid.

Branstad’s privatization plan of a public good was a bad idea from square one. It’s hard to believe that for-profit companies would put their bottom line over the needs and well-being of their clients. With reports showing consumers’ needs are not being met, we can see this is the case.

Iowans receiving health coverage under one of the three MCOs should be able to receive quality services from UIHC, and UIHC should be able to provide these services with the understanding that they will get paid for doing so. But that’s not the case under Branstad’s Medicaid system.

If we want our Iowa to prosper, the health and well-being of Iowans must be a top priority. This can’t be done when corporate greed trumps human need.

There’s still time to fix this. Hopefully Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds recognizes the mess Branstad left her and understands her legacy will be defined by whether or not she fixes it.

Darrel Wrider

Cedar Rapids

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