Letter to the Editor: People deserve health care

To the Editor:

When the State of Iowa administered the Medicaid program, our most vulnerable Iowans received the care they needed. Then Governor Branstad turned over the Medicaid program to for-profit insurance companies, a move which has been supported by our current governor. Since then, our seniors, people with disabilities, children, and people with mental illness have not received the health care services they need.

The State Osbudsman reports that denial of in-home care which allows seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their own homes has been denied or cut. It was recently reported that a man who is a quadriplegic has had in-home care reduced by 71% resulting in a move to a nursing home which costs far more than the in-home care he had once received.

Another man, paralyzed by a wrestling accident 29 years ago, had his in-home care drastically reduced.

One managed care company challenged a psychiatrist’s recommendation resulting in a teenage boy (who has had severe mental illness since the age of four) having to leave the residential treatment center. He had a serious relapse as a result.

More and more caretakers and people with disabilities in our own county are reporting having to fight with managed care companies to get the services they need approved and paid for.

In spite of the vast reports of people who are being harmed by the privatization of  Medicaid, Iowa’s current governor stands with the managed care companies and standing with the governor is her party’s candidate for the Iowa house of representatives who wants to represent Allamakee and Clayton Counties.

It’s time to change course and support the candidate for governor and candidate for the state house of representatives who will stand up for the most vulnerable Iowans and who will return Medicaid to a state administered system that has a proven, decades-long record of providing care in a responsible, cost-effective way.

People deserve health care.

Becky Gesing

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