It was without surprise that I read Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration had agreed to give Iowa Medicaid managed care insurers a 7.5 percent increase.
With Medicaid managed care, once you’re in for a dime, you’re in for a dollar.
In studying “managed long-term services and supports” (MLTSS) for a law review article, I was struck by the lack of accountability and cost overruns that have accompanied placing the administration of a vital safety net, dating to 1965, into the hands of insurance companies.
The Dallas Morning News ran a poignant investigative series entitled “Pain & Profit” about the shortcomings of Medicaid managed care in Texas. They shared stories like that of Heather Powell, a 38-year-old paralyzed from the neck down and effectively trapped in her bed upon an insurer taking over her Medicaid care — she didn’t receive the necessary durable medical equipment, and her care hours were cut from 12 hours a day to seven.
The Morning News noted, “Texans with complex medical needs are now the most profitable, on a per-person basis, for the companies in Medicaid managed care, financial data shows.”
Yet, also as the Morning News reported, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has effectively dismissed as “fake news” the findings of the paper’s yearlong, in-depth reporting: “Abbott is a vocal defender of managed care whose top advisers have connections to health care companies.”