Letter to the editor: Protect Medicaid by keeping it public


To the editor:

About 60 percent of the costs of traditional Medicaid come from providing nursing home care and other types of care for the elderly and those with disabilities. The more than 30 million poor children now enrolled in Medicaid account for 19 percent of the program’s spending.

Do we wait to protect Medicaid until we or loved ones need it, or do we take action now to protect it?

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the House Republican budget in 2012, which called for block grants for Medicaid, found that “the plan would cause between 14 million and 21 million people to lose coverage.”

Gov. Branstad has taken up the national Republican campaign against Medicaid, a campaign that could deny health benefits to millions of children, seniors, working families and people with disabilities.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Medicaid’s actual spending per beneficiary has, on average, grown 3 percent less each year than has spending for those with private health insurance.

So why would Gov. Branstad turn over Medicaid to private health insurance companies that have cost more tax dollars?

Julie Stewart


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