425,000. That’s the number of Iowans who lost coverage when UnitedHealthcare of the River Valley discontinued participation in Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program. I’m one of those Iowans.
In my community, I’m also known by the moniker “Mr. Everywhere” because I’m a member of several commissions and committees that keep me active. I’m also involved in the Democratic Party alongside advocating with legislators on disability issues.
Using my electric-powered wheelchair enables me freedom — freedom to participate and be a contributing member of my community and the freedom to be active and involved.
Last year it took three months to get approval from my MCO to have the casters on my electric power chair repaired. When not properly working the casters jerked and dragged to one side, causing an imbalance for my chair and leaving marks on the floor of wherever I happened to be.
I need my chair — I need a new power chair — but my new MCO, Amerigroup, would deny me, saying I don’t. Without a properly working chair, I would be housebound without the freedom to continue to be mobile and active.
Why do Gov. Kim Reynolds and GOP legislators support a privatized Medicaid system that limits the freedoms of Iowans like me?