Several Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday challenged Iowa health officials on the effectiveness of the state's newly privatized Medicaid program, continuing to push back on statements by Gov. Terry Branstad that the new system is working without systemic issues.
Members of the Democrat-led Senate Human Resources Committee expressed frustration after hearing testimony from Medicaid patients and health care providers who said they're having multiple negative experiences under the program since it switched to private management on April 1. The program provides health care for roughly 560,000 poor and disabled Iowa residents.
Some health care providers testified their businesses haven't been properly paid for months. Others said they've received miscommunication on why some claims for payment are being denied.
"We've got to take action on this," said Democratic Sen. Liz Mathis, the committee chair. "The governor declares states of emergency. This is a state of emergency."
Mathis said she expects updates on some reported concerns when a separate oversight committee meets in August.