Tag: Consumer protections

Petersen: Medicaid increase is GOP’s ‘gut punch’ to Iowa taxpayers

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on GOP’s ‘gut punch’ to Iowa taxpayers 

“Iowa families, health care providers and taxpayers received a gut punch today because of the mismanagement of privatized Medicaid by Governor Reynolds, Senate Republicans and House Republicans.

Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen

“Taxpayers are being hurt because they must now pay an additional $342.2 million to out-of-state corporations that are running Medicaid and Iowa’s heath care system into the ground.

“In order to balance the state budget, Governor Reynolds and Republican legislators are unfortunately likely to

  1. Cut and further delay payments to Iowa health care providers that provide critical services to hundreds of thousands of Iowans.
  2. Make health care services even less accessible to Medicaid members.
  3. Take more than $100 million away from education, health care and public safety to cover the additional payments to out-of-state corporations.

“The best option would be for Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans to finally reverse course and join legislative Democrats in supporting a return to a more efficient, publicly managed system.

“We all know for-profit Medicaid has been a disaster for Iowa families and health care providers. Now we know that it is a bigger disaster for the state budget and Iowa taxpayers.”

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Two new laws will help protect your credit

1. Credit reporting agencies cannot charge fees when you freeze checks on your credit reports 

In the Equifax security breach last year, hackers stole Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and other personal information from 1.1 million Iowans.

Wary of identity theft, many consumers requested a freeze on their credit reports. They then learned that they had to pay a fee to get the freeze and pay again if they wanted to lift the freeze. Iowans have been paying some of the highest freeze-related fees in the nation, according to the state Attorney General.

This year, we banned Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and other credit reporting agencies from charging fees when Iowans freeze checks on their credit reports (SF 2177). Freezing prevents anyone, including an identity thief, from opening a new line of credit in your name. If you need to apply for a credit card, loan or job that requires a background check, you can have the freeze lifted, even temporarily.

 

2. Tougher penalties for criminals who use technology to steal your credit card

We’re also cracking down on illegally using technology to steal payment card information (HF 2199).

Criminals can access your credit and debit cards remotely through your clothes, wallet or purse, or place nearly undetectable “skimming devices” on gas pumps and other card readers that steal your information. Your card information can even be transferred to another card for the thieves to use later.

It is now a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison to use a scanning device to take payment card information without authorization, or to use an encoding machine to transfer information from one card to another. In addition, it will be an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison to possess a scanning device intended to obtain payment card information without authorization.

 

Find helpful tips to avoid credit card fraud and identity theft on the Iowa Attorney General’s website.