Says time is now to protect Medicaid

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 over 30 million poor children now enrolled in Medicaid accounts 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 percentage points less each year than it has 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 (Ziesman)