Gov. Terry Branstad’s plans to save money by privatizing Medicaid and closing state mental health institutes in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda are strongly opposed by a majority of Iowa voters, according to a national opinion research firm.
A survey by Public Policy Polling of 1,219 Iowa voters found that only 22 percent of Iowa voters back Branstad’s plan to hire private managed-care companies to run the state-federal Medicaid health insurance program for low-income Iowans. Fifty-two percent are opposed. The idea is extremely unpopular with Democrats, who register 78 percent opposition, while Republicans are only narrowly in favor with 36 percent approving and 26 percent opposed.
The governor’s plan to close the two state mental health facilities is unpopular among Democrats, independents and Republicans with just 12 percent of Iowans in favor and 68 percent opposed.
DES MOINES – Today, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement about a recent Public Policy Polling poll on Governor Branstad’s decision to close Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institutes:
“Iowans overwhelmingly oppose Governor Branstad’s decision to close Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institutes. 68 percent oppose closing these facilities; only 12 percent support the closings.
“Throughout this entire process, Governor Branstad has ignored the voices of patients and their families, mental health professionals, law enforcement professionals, community leaders, and legislators. He has recklessly charged forward with his plan to close these facilities.
“This poll makes it clear: Iowans oppose these closures. The Governor needs to start listening to Iowans, put mental health services first, and stop barreling towards closing these facilities with no real plan to replace the services they provide to Iowans facing mental health challenges.”