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Help for Vulnerable Iowans

May 20, 2016
Steve Sodders - IA State Senator , Traer Star-Clipper

The state's Health & Human Services Budget (HF 2460) was one of the last bills to pass the Legislature this year. It included increased oversight to address Iowans' problems with the Governor's privatized Medicaid system.

No other state has privatized Medicaid so quickly, which has caused chaos and confusion for Iowa's Medicaid recipients, health care providers and advocates. As a result, Iowans are falling through the holes in our health care safety net.

While not as strong as the original Senate bill, we approved Medicaid oversight provisions that include:

A stronger voice for Medicaid recipients.

A Legislative Health Policy Oversight Committee that will continue to receive information from Medicaid recipients, health care providers and advocates.

An additional Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

Making public data and reports from the Department of Human Services and Managed Care Organizations.

Additional statewide public meetings to hear from stakeholders and consumers.

Most Medicaid dollars help our elderly and Iowans with disabilities. Every one of us is just one accident or illness away from needing that help. Out-of-state, for-profit companies must be held accountable for providing necessary health care services and making the best use of hard-working Iowans' tax dollars.

The Health & Human Services Budget also includes bipartisan support for:

Mental health services for Iowans of all ages

Better health care workforce planning

Reducing waiting lists for Home and Community Based Services

Protecting services for seniors and disabled Iowans

Maintaining the services of doctors, hospitals and nursing homes

As legislators, it's our duty to stand up for vulnerable Iowans and others who often don't have a voice. With limited resources to work with this year, we set priorities and found bipartisan compromise to protect kids, seniors, people with disabilities and every Iowan's access to essential services.

To read more of this session's highlights, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/democrats. I also encourage constituents to stay up to date on what the Legislature is doing by subscribing to my newsletter at www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/sodders.

 
 

 

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