Tag: Rob Hogg

Senators introduce bill to end privatized Medicaid

All 20 Democrats and the one Independent in the Iowa Senate have introduced SF 2058, a bill to end privatized Medicaid and put Iowans back in control of a state-run system that provides affordable health care to more than 560,000 citizens.

Since April 2016, when Iowa Medicaid was turned over to out-of-state companies, constituents have complained about the obstacles they face getting care and services.

Hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers – especially in Iowa’s small towns and rural areas – agree that the privatized system is not working. They aren’t being properly reimbursed for the care they provide. They face red tape and bureaucratic nightmares. Many are in financial jeopardy, and some have even been forced to close their doors.

The state keeps giving private, out-of-state companies more of your tax dollars to run Medicaid. In fact, Governor Reynolds just agreed to give them another $130 million. Yet things continue to get worse.

This is not how health care for sick, injured and disabled Iowans is supposed to work. Privatized Medicaid is not saving taxpayer dollars. Iowans are not getting healthier. The entire system is in shambles.

For the health and safety of our citizens, let’s put Iowans back in control of Medicaid.

Legislators highlight Cedar Rapids recycling success

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: January 2, 2018

1:30 PM, Friday, Jan 5
Can Shed
4121 16th Ave SW
Cedar Rapids

To gather information about how Iowa’s bottle deposit law is working, State Sen. Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids), State Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt (D-Cedar Rapids), and other legislators will tour the Can Shed redemption center this Friday, January 5, at 1:30 p.m. at 4121 16th Ave SW in Cedar Rapids.

The Can Shed has 35 full-time employees and marked its 20th year of operation last year.

The news media is invited to join the 1:30 p.m. tour on Friday and is also welcome to participate in the discussion immediately afterwards.

“In states without a bottle deposit law, an average of only 28% of containers are recovered for recycling,” said Troy Willard, the Can Shed CEO.  “We are proud that Iowa’s recovery rate is 86%.”

“Before Iowa repeals the bottle bill signed by Governor Bob Ray nearly 40 years ago, it is important for legislators and the public to know how it is actually working today,” said Senator Hogg.

“I want to make sure that any changes considered by the Legislature this year are responsible and don’t negatively impact Iowans, our small businesses, the environment, and our pocketbooks,” said Representative Running-Marquardt.


Democrats call on Statehouse Republicans to ‘put Iowans back in control of Medicaid’

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: December 15, 2017


DES MOINES — Iowa’s Democratic state legislators are asking Governor Kim Reynolds and Republican lawmakers to work together during the 2018 session to end Iowa’s failed Medicaid privatization experiment.

“We do our best work when we work in a bipartisan fashion” to expand access to affordable health care for many Iowans, Democratic legislators wrote in a letter emailed today to the Governor and every Republican lawmaker.

“For the past 20 months, constituents of all ages have been bombarding Governor Reynolds and Republican and Democratic legislators with real problems caused by Medicaid privatization,” Democrats wrote. “There is clear evidence that Iowans have died as a result of life-sustaining services being cut off to extremely vulnerable individuals.”

The letter also stresses the “financial jeopardy” that Medicaid privatization has imposed on hospitals, nursing homes and other Iowa health care providers, especially in Iowa’s small towns and rural areas.

Democratic lawmakers noted that “privatization is not saving money for Iowa’s taxpayers, and it is not resulting in healthier Iowans. Under Medicaid privatization, the state of Iowa keeps giving the private, out-of-state companies more and more money, while giving Iowa taxpayers less and less.”

Medicaid is a health care safety net that is administered by the states and funded through a federal-state partnership. Roughly 70 percent of Medicaid expenses are for the care of our very poor elderly and severely disabled Iowans. In 2015, the Branstad/Reynolds Administration announced that the state employees running the program would be replaced by for-profit Medicaid managers.

Despite widespread opposition and repeated delays, large, out-of-state companies took over care of the majority of Iowans receiving Medicaid services on April 1, 2016. As of today, three of the four companies initially hired to manage the program have abandoned the project. When AmeriHealth Caritas quit the state last month, the health care of 215,000 Iowans was disrupted.

Governor Reynolds has promised that more managed care organizations are being recruited to replace those that left.

In today’s letter, Democratic lawmakers propose a different approach: “When Connecticut realized its privatized Medicaid was not working, state leaders made the decision to go back to a publicly managed Medicaid system. Connecticut is now seeing much better results with their new model. They are saving money and improving care.”

The letter concludes with this plea:

“More than ever before, we all know that privatized Medicaid is not working for Iowa. For the health and safety of so many, will you work with us to put Iowans back in control of Medicaid? We can and should do better for Iowans. Watching our health care system collapse is not an option.”