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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