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Josh Brennan

Josh Brennan

Richard Broadie’s opinion column Oct. 21 about Medicaid privatization ignores the large-scale harm this “ongoing experiment” has already inflicted on far too many Iowans. I’ve seen this harm up close as a direct support professional, whose clients rely on Medicaid. My clients are among the tens of thousands of Iowans who have been denied health care treatment. Many providers have been forced to close, and taxpayers despite paying far more than promised, should know the increased cost has not improved outcomes.

Mr. Broadie dismisses most of these problems out of hand, while also imploring us to withhold judgement until Auditor Mosiman’s audit of the program comes out. However, Mosiman didn’t release her report before the November election.

What’s particularly troubling is Auditor Mosiman ignored 48 public reports about problems with Medicaid privatization for more than three years. The long overdue audit began this summer only after State Sen. Pam Jochum formally requested it, which was after Mosiman’s opponent Rob Sand suggested it was necessary amid wildly fluctuating and unexplained estimates about cost savings to taxpayers. Four months later, Iowans are still waiting on Auditor Mosiman’s review.

Perhaps Sand, a Democrat who defeated the Republican incumbent Mosiman in Tuesday night’s election for state auditor, can expedite the report’s release.

Medicaid privatization has cut or denied health care to more than 40,000 of our friends, family members and neighbors in Iowa. I work with some of these folks on a daily basis and they are unequivocal in their desire to end privatization. The number of Medicaid complaints in 2017 more than doubled from the previous year due to systemic reductions and denials in needed health services during the drawn-out appeals processes. Meanwhile, Iowa Medicaid Enterprises, a division of the Iowa Department of Human Services, requested $145 million more than the approved 2019 state allocations for Medicaid privatization.

Despite lives hanging in the balance and a pending audit amid questionable cost estimates, Amerigroup and UnitedHealthcare, the two Medicaid management companies in Iowa, were recently awarded a 7.5 percent pay increase.

Sleeping on her duties is sadly routine for Mosiman. While the Iowa Communications Network head stole $380,000, Mosiman missed more ICN oversight meetings than every other oversight board member. She asked only three questions in four years of meetings.

Disappointingly, Auditor Mosiman, who is the official watchdog for Iowa taxpayers, was silent yet again on one of the biggest expenditures of taxpayer dollars in the state. Maybe that’s why on Tuesday ousted her.

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Josh Brennan is a direct support professional in eastern Iowa. He has spent his entire adult life working with children and adults with developmental disabilities, brain injury and chronic mental illness. He has been a critic of Medicaid privatization, speaking on its dangers, prior to implementation. He continues to advocate for a return to the state-run model.

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