Lawmakers Review Medicaid Oversight Bill

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Lawmakers heard about a bill Tuesday that would help provide oversight to the state's transition to the privatized Medicaid system.

The bill was introduced by the chair of the Human Resources Committee but has bi-partisan support. The goal is to provide improvements and more accountability for Iowa’s move to Medicaid privatization.

Democratic Sen. Amanda Ragan, who introduced the bill, said the legislation is designed to safeguard the more than half of a million Iowans who use Medicaid, encourage participation and protect taxpayers.

Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to privatize Medicaid is set to take effect April 1. The federal government already pushed that date back twice.

Ragan said the bill has six goals to accomplish oversight, including creating a Medicaid reinvestment fund and expanding the Medical Assistance Advisory Council.

“Our job is to protect the health care safety net for Iowa families. We are all one accident or illness away from depending on Medicaid. Iowa’s health care safety net is simply too important to turn over to out-of-state corporations,” Ragan said.

Before the bill could be debated, it was deferred.

The Senate Majority Leader said Republicans are considering some amendments to the bill and the plan is to take it back up Wednesday.

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