For decades, Medicaid has been a lifesaver for millions of Americans. Established in 1965 as an amendment to the Social Security Act, Medicaid was created specifically to provide medical care for society’s most vulnerable citizens. As of June 2017, more than 600,000 Iowans qualified for Medicaid.

Medicaid is now in trouble in Iowa. Last year, Iowa privatized Medicaid, turning over the management of the $4.2 billion program to three for-profit companies. This was done because lawmakers thought it would save taxpayer money. The program is underfunded and one of the companies recently pulled out. That company managed 75 percent of the Medicaid recipients in Iowa, forcing many Iowa Medicaid recipients to shift in their managed care provider.

We need to avoid pointing fingers and just sufficiently fund Medicaid in Iowa. Perhaps it was not the wisest decision to privatize Medicaid, but switching systems back and forth repeatedly is not the answer; we should work to improve the present system and fund it properly. Voters want elected officials to work together in a bipartisan fashion to fix problems. We don’t want lawmakers to bicker back and forth and blame others.

We cannot leave Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens out in the cold. - Ruth Kociski, Sioux Center, Iowa

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