Editorial: Branstad’s Medicaid privatization is a reckless gamble

B9317364770Z.1_20150516225331_000_GMNAQ2BAF.1-0In his blind, headlong rush to privatize Medicaid and hand billions of public dollars over to a group of for-profit corporations, Gov. Terry Branstad has tripped over his own feet every step of the way.

His initial mistake was in failing to secure the necessary federal approval for privatization. In fact, the feds have yet to approve of the arrangement, despite the fact that full implementation is just nine weeks away.

Then he pushed ahead with his plan to issue the largest set of publicly bid government contracts in the state’s history without telling legislators what he was up to. Given the fact that Iowa Medicaid is a $4.2 billion program, his lack of communication can’t be attributed to mere indifference. This was a deliberate, carefully orchestrated effort to keep Iowa’s elected lawmakers in the dark until privatization could be presented as a fait accompli.

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