Letter: Medicaid privatization burdens Iowans

Iowa Medicaid privatization is a disaster for most disabled and poor Iowans. Services are reduced and it’s costing taxpayers more than the state-directed Medicaid program. Caretakers, many serving family members or patients with multiple issues, have additional stresses and strains when navigating the complexities of for-profit insurance companies with different plans.

If AmeriHealth Caritas fails to renew the Mercy Health Network contract, many caretakers will need to start over to get the providers and insurance needed for loved ones and clients: more stress, strain, paperwork, phone calls for everyone involved in the care of those with special needs.

Privatizing Medicaid was an economic nightmare for Connecticut, Kansas and Florida, to name just three states. After 15 years and significant financial losses, Connecticut transitioned back to state-managed Medicaid. Unwilling to learn from others, Gov. Terry Branstad lunged forward to privatize Medicaid under the guise of saving taxpayer dollars. It would have been substantially more cost effective to revamp our state-managed program than convert to for-profit companies, which misunderstood the challenges, poorly managed tax dollars and now need us to further subsidize them. Iowa Medicaid didn’t need another bureaucratic management layer. Iowans were administering to each other just fine.

What Iowan, even one-issue voters, would want to add to the complexity of dealing with health care for their neighbor, especially the poor and disabled?

Love tenderly, act justly and walk humbly because we never know when one of ours might be on the Medicaid path.

Mary Coan



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