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August 8th, 2018 Posted In: News

Second Adviser was also dismissed after asking “hard questions” about the failures of Reynolds’ privatized Medicaid.
Yesterday, the Des Moines Register reported that Governor Reynolds fired the co-chairman of Iowa’s Medical Assistance Advisory Council and other member after they were outspoken about the many and well documented failures of her Medicaid privatization scheme. Reynolds has stuck by this program despite evidence that the privatized Medicaid system is not achieving the promised cost savings, putting providers out of business, and denying Iowans their right to lifesaving care.

“It’s no surprise that Governor Reynolds would fire people for trying to hold her accountable – she has ducked responsibility for the consequences of her failed leadership at every turn. This is yet another attempt to cover up the pain and devastation her failed Medicaid privatization scheme has caused, and she won’t be able to avoid accountability at the ballot box this fall,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price.

DES MOINES REGISTER: Governor drops Medicaid adviser who spoke up for disabled Iowans after services were cut

“Gov. Kim Reynolds has dropped an outspoken Medicaid adviser who repeatedly voiced concerns about how private management companies were treating Iowans with disabilities.

David Hudson spent two years as co-chairman of Iowa’s Medical Assistance Advisory Council, whose duties include monitoring the state’s shift to private management of its $5 billion Medicaid program.

‘I felt that I was asking the questions the governor should have been asking,’ he said in an interview at his Windsor Heights home. ‘… I guess I pushed back too hard or something.’

A spokeswoman for Reynolds declined to comment on Hudson’s contention that he was pushed out for being outspoken. The governor on Tuesday announced four new appointees to the council. They did not include Hudson.”

“Hudson said he initially supported Branstad’s 2015 decision to hire private companies to manage care for the 600,000 Iowans on Medicaid. But he said he felt a duty to speak up when he saw those companies cut crucial services to his son and other Iowans with disabilities.

Hudson believes his detailed inquiries led Branstad’s successor, Reynolds, to deny his request for reappointment when his council term expired June 30.”

“In a council meeting last November, Hudson sharply questioned the circumstances leading to the death of Todd Mouw, an Orange City man who was paralyzed from the waist down. Mouw’s widow had blamed the 53-year-old man’s death on his managed-care company’s unwillingness to pay for the kind of care that had let him remain in their home for years.”

“The council has an executive committee, with about 12 members, which meets monthly. The full council, with more than 50 members, meets quarterly. Hudson was co-chairman of both and was paid $50 per meeting. He and two other members of the executive committee, Jodi Tomlonovic and Julie Fugenschuh, were not reappointed by Reynolds when their terms expired June 30.

Tomlonovic is executive director of the Family Planning Council of Iowa, but said she represents the public on the Medicaid panel. Like Hudson, she was a critic of the impact of privatization.

Fugenschuh, the executive director of the Project Iowa job-training program, did not request reappointment, but was disappointed Hudson and Tomlonovic were dropped. ‘I do believe he and Jodi asked hard questions that sometimes made people uncomfortable,’ she said.”

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August 6th, 2018 Posted In: News

In honor of the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price released the following statement:

Over the course of American history, we have fought endlessly to live up to our promise of a more perfect union. The Voting Rights Act was a crucial step in fulfilling that promise.

For over half a century the Voting Rights Acts has protected our citizens’ say in our Democracy. We know that our state and our nation are stronger when more people exercise their right to vote.

While Republicans in this state and across the nation actively attempt to make it harder to vote through voter ID laws and other voter suppression tactics, the Iowa Democratic Party is reaffirming our commitment to ensuring every American has a voice at the ballot box.

Voting is the most patriotic act we can do as American citizens, and I hope all Iowans will join me in exercising our right to vote this November.

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August 6th, 2018 Posted In: News

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) will join Former First Lady Christie Vilsack, State Senator Rita Hart, State Representative Abby Finkenauer, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price, and many more for a Back to Blue Women for Iowa event in Dubuque. Back to Blue is an initiative of the Iowa Democratic Party to increase local engagement and build resources for the 2018 election.

Senator Hassan is the second woman in American history to be elected both Governor and United States Senator. Senator Hassan got her start in public service as an advocate fighting to ensure that children like her son Ben, who experiences severe disabilities, would be fully included in their communities and have the same opportunities that all parents want for their children — and she shares in the Iowa legacy of advocating for every person to have the tools to succeed. She is a driven public servant with a strong record of delivering results. Iowa Democrats are thrilled to welcome Senator Hassan to Dubuque this summer.

Get tickets here.

WHO: Senator Maggie Hassan 
Christie Vilsack, Former First Lady of Iowa
State Senator Rita Hart, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor
State Representative Abby Finkenauer, Candidate for U.S. Congress
Troy Price, Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party

WHAT: Iowa Democratic Party Back to Blue Women for Iowa Event

WHERE: Grand River Center, River Room, 500 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001

WHEN: Sunday, August 26th, 1:00 PM

CONTACT: Tess Seger, tseger@iowademocrats.org, (503) 473 – 7624

TICKETS: Purchase tickets here

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August 3rd, 2018 Posted In: News

After cutting down her weekly press conferences, Governor Reynolds’ spokesperson claimed that “Reynolds’ public schedule will remain open to media coverage and that reporters can ask questions at those events,” but in Van Buren County on Wednesday at a public event, Reynolds barred reporters from entering. This is the latest instance of the Reynolds administration’s problem with transparency including attempts to shroud her Medicaid privatization disaster and attempting to hide the appointment of her father to a judicial nominating commission.

“The gross lack of transparency is unprecedented when it comes to Kim Reynolds and her administration,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price. “Yesterday – not allowing reporters into an event clearly marked public on her schedule – is yet another example in a long string of instances where Governor Reynolds has tried to duck from public accountability and hide the reality of her record.”

The Reynolds Transparency Problem

April 2017: A Des Moines Register Editorial asserts of Reynolds’ privatized Medicaid, “the only meaningful transparency over the past year resulted from news media using Iowa’s Open Records law to obtain internal documents from the Iowa Department of Human Services.”

April and May 2018: Quad City Times pointed out Reynolds’ lack of transparencyand use of “take our word for it” rationale for questions surrounding the Iowa Finance Authority scandal.

May 2018: Reynolds appointed her father to a judicial nominating commission but failed to initially disclose their relationship.

July 2018: Medicaid chief has no data to support Medicaid savings claim after continuing to assure lawmakers and the public that model is saving money.

July And August 2018: Reynolds announces her weekly press conference would “become infrequent” due to her travel around the state.

WATCH: “The Reynolds Transparency Problem”

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