Iowans Weigh In On Medicaid Privatization

Nov 24, 2015

The Branstad administration is planning to shift Iowans who benefit from Medicaid to private management on Jan. 1, a move that would impact more than 560,000 recipients.

The governor contends that private management companies can offer more efficient service and save money, while those who rely on the program are worried, including Iowa City resident Heather Young.

“My husband and I are doing everything we can to keep the ship afloat," Young says. "Even with our best efforts, if this thing goes through, this ship is going to get torpedoed."

Three leading Iowa Senate Democrats met last week in Washington D.C. with federal officials who will decide whether to approve Gov. Branstad's plan. The Iowa legislators want officials to at least slow down the shift to private Medicaid management.

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer hosts a discussion on the impact of privatizing Medicaid in a little over a month. Iowa Public Radio reporter Clay Masters and Brian Kaskie, associate professor of health management and policy at the University of Iowa, join the discussion as well.