Democratic Senator Matt McCoy and Representative John Forbes held a press conference last week and presented a simple, common sense health care solution for Iowans. Their proposal “Healthy Iowans for a Pubic Option” (HIPO) solves two Iowa health care emergencies facing thousands of Iowans. Republicans’ policies and actions have created two health care disasters for Iowans and now Republicans are ignoring the desperate pleas of these Iowans. The two urgent health care emergencies are the failed Medicaid privatization and the ballooning premium increases for Iowans buying insurance on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange.
The first healthcare emergency is the privatization crisis. The Branstad/Reynolds regime moved the management of Iowa’s Medicaid population from the successful state management to a reckless experiment with for-profit insurance companies. That shift has proven to be a massive mistake, resulting in delayed, denied and inadequate services for Iowa’s 600,000 Medicaid recipients.