The Truth about Medicaid Modernization
Over the last several years, Iowa’s Medicaid system has been growing at an unsustainable rate. Reform is not optional, it’s necessary. In 2002, 1 in 11 Iowans were on some sort of state-administered health program, but today that number has grown to 1 in 5 Iowans. Medicaid is the second largest program in state government. Its growth threatens the state’s ability to provide additional funding to schools.
According to LSA, state revenue grew by 2.7% between 2006 and 2015. Funding for schools grew at 4.3%, while funding for Medicaid grew by 9.1%. General Fund spending on Medicaid has increased by 133%, growing from $557 million in FY 2003 to $1.3 billion in FY 2016. Over the last several years, Iowa’s Medicaid system has been growing at an unsustainable rate. Reform is not optional, it’s necessary. In 2002, 1 in 11 Iowans were on some sort of state-administered health program, but today that number has grown to 1 in 5 Iowans. Medicaid is the second largest program in state government. Its growth threatens the state’s ability to provide additional funding to schools.
Medicaid Modernization will create predictability and sustainability in the Medicaid budget. In FY 2017, Medicaid costs will increase $41 million even with managed care. Without it, costs would increase $151 million.
All four major hospital systems have signed with a managed care organization (Genisis, Mercy, UIHC, UnityPoint). Benefits under managed care do not change, but the managed care organizations will provide over 80+ value-added services Medicaid patients do not currently receive.
Patients can switch to a different managed care organization at any time for any reason between now and May 17, 2016. After that date, patients can still switch for good cause (e.g., provider not signed up with a MCO). There will also be an annual open enrollment period in the late fall to choose a different managed care organization. 34,406 Medicaid patients have actively selected an MCO as of 1-22-16.Democrats are fighting to keep the status quo intact and are offering no alternatives to improve services, outcomes, or combat the ever-growing costs of Medicaid. Senate democrats call for an immediate end to the transition, yet want to reap the benefits by including over $100 million of savings in their budget targets.
If Senate Democrats opposition to Medicaid Modernization succeeds, the Legislature will have to find an additional $121.8 million in the FY 2017 budget to maintain the status quo in Medicaid. K-12 Supplemental State Aid (SSA) already received nearly all of the $153 million in projected revenue growth. If Medicaid Modernization isn’t implemented, K-12 schools will likely feel the impact through reduced funding.
Combating the Global Crime of Human Trafficking
While Americans were watching football and enjoying a tailgate party on Sunday, peace officers in California were focused on a much darker issue, rescuing human trafficking victims from those who seek to do them harm. Large sporting events bring out the best in people, but unfortunately, it normally means an influx of human traffickers and their victims. This was the case around Santa Clara, California the home of Super Bowl 50.
According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office there were 42 potential human trafficking victims identified and as of last report, more than 20 of them have been put in touch with social workers to receive additional assistance. Officers also arrested 30 men for soliciting prostitution. In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Ryan Murphy, a member of the Denver Broncos practice squad was stopped and questioned in a prostitution sting near Santa Clara.
Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, and generates $32 billion. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that a child is between the age of 12 and 14 when they are first used in commercial sex trafficking. These numbers show how truly dangerous human trafficking is in Iowa and around the world.
Victims of sex trafficking are overwhelmingly female (93%), according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. A majority of these victims, 53%, are under the age of 17. It is estimated that over 76% of the suspects charged with human trafficking are male.
There is no doubt that human trafficking is a serious problem around the country. House Republicans have several bills proposed to focus on training law enforcement and the general public on how to recognize human trafficking and the best ways to help victims.
Visitors this Week
Members of (FUAN) Families United Action Network
Students from Waterloo