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"All Her Doctors Are Important" – Iowa Mom Responds to AmeriHealth Departure

Earlier this week, AmeriHealth Caritas, one of four private health care companies charged with managing Iowa's Medicaid system, announced they would be terminating their contract in Iowa. For a portion of Iowans who receive health insurance through Medicaid, that's a major headache. 

Beverly Louk lives in central Iowa and is the mother of a daughter who is disabled and receiving health care through AmeriHealth. She's very concerned about what happens now. 

Her daughter Caitlin has a condition called tuberous sclerosis, which is a rare genetic disorder causing benign tumors to grow in the body, and it often causes significant health problems. Louk says her daughter has them in her eyes, in her brain, and in many of her vital organs.

“Well, from what I've gotten from her DHS social worker—they just sent us an email—and they said that they will choose an insurance for you,” she says.

“We have many, many doctors for Caitlin. We have a nephrologist. We have a kidney specialist. We have a neurologist. We have a family practice doctor. We have a lung specialist. I mean, she has a lot of doctors. There is no guarantee that her doctors that know her case will be on this new plan.”

During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Louk about what she's heard from the DHS about what happens next and what her fears are now that her daughter's care is changing. 

During this hour, we also hear from Iowa Public Radio Correspondent Joyce Russell about Iowan Sam Clovis' decision to withdraw his nomination for chief scientist for the USDA.  Also, Professor Michael Bugeja of Iowa State University's journalism school talks about this week's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that questioned representatives of Facebook, Google, and Twitter. 

Mike Hutchison, who has worked at the state's largest truck stop, which has plans of expanding, and Sean Moeller also join the show. Moeller is producer for a music festival happening November 9-11 in Davenport. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River