Des Moines, IA — After new allegations surfaced yesterday about improper political influence during the award process for privatizing the state’s Medicaid program, four Iowa lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee today requested the committee investigate the matter at a meeting on November 18th.
“Yesterday, new allegations surfaced about improper political influence between Branstad officials and two former GOP lawmakers now working at one of the managed care companies. The Oversight Committee has an obligation to make sure there was not any misconduct or improper influence in awarding contracts,” said State Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines, Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee.
At an administrative hearing on Thursday, emails were released that show communication between the Governor’s current Chief of Staff Michael Bousselot and two former GOP lawmakers who now work for WellCare, Chris Rants and Renee Schulte. The communication came while state officials were reviewing and awarding contracts to privatize Medicaid.
“With $4.8 billion at stake, this is the largest contract in state history and health care for 565,000 Iowans is on the line. The Oversight Committee needs to take action,” added Gaines.
Other lawmakers on the Oversight Committee who signed the letter include Reps. Vicki Lensing of Iowa City, Phyllis Thede of Bettendorf, and Mary Wolfe of Clinton. The letter to Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, Chair of the Oversight Committee, is attached.