Greetings to you all,
This past week the House voted on several bills ranging from synthetic drugs, to carbon monoxide alarms, to littering and illegal dumping. The bills pretty much had bipartisan support and will either go to the Governor’s desk, or to the Senate, for additional consideration. With the 2016 session scheduled to end April 19th there is still plenty of work to get done to finish the session on time.
After months of delays and confusion, the transition to Medicaid privatization starts on Friday, April 1st and health care for 560,000 Iowans will change. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a rough transition. Just this week, we heard of a family in Northeast Iowa that had chemotherapy treatment for their 9-year-old delayed at Mayo Clinic, because of confusion around the Governor’s rush to privatize Medicaid.
The same day we learned about this story, House Republicans refused to take action to clean up this Medicaid mess. We offered a plan that would force the state to set up a Medicaid contract with Mayo Clinic, but it was refused to even bring the idea up for debate. We offered other plans dealing with the privatization and to just provide more oversight of privatization, but they were all turned down again.
I believe we have an obligation to at least provide more oversight of the system, to make sure that no Iowans fall through the cracks. Right now, the only certainty for Iowans caught in Medicaid privatization is confusion. Unfortunately, I’m afraid the story we heard this week is just the first of many to come when privatization starts on April 1.
From 6:30 to 8 p.m. on April 5, at Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls a Seminar on Human Trafficking will take place with speaker Michael Ferjak from the Iowa Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Enforcement and Prosecution Initiative. The Cedar Falls and Waterloo Educational Support Professionals are sponsoring the event. The community is welcome and there is no cost to attend.
As always, the Iowa Legislature’s webpage, www.legis.iowa.gov, has a great amount of information for you to read. In addition to reading bills and finding out what’s happening in the House or Senate on any given day, you can now listen to or watch our debates live, when we are in session.
Please don’t forget to check out all my other information and pictures from the current session on my website www.bobkressig.com. In addition to listening posts and forums, you can also reach me by email anytime or call me at home at 319-266-9021. We can also stay connected through social media, like Facebook or Twitter. I appreciate hearing from you and thank you for your continued support.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Statehouse News. Please keep in touch!
Chuck Rowe, Patty Cutts, Phillip Nash, Laura Kann, and Representative Bob Kressig congratulated Nei'Aira for receiving Boys and Girls Club of America's Youth of the Year Recognition.
Representative Bob Kressig was able to meet with Abbi Cobb and other UNI students presenting their outstanding research at the Statehouse.
Representative Bob Kressig joined Representative Dave Dawson of Sioux City and Representative Dennis Cohoon of Burlington at a bill signing for House File 2386, which terminates the parental rights of an individual who has a sexual abuse related crime in their past.
Upcoming Community Events
28 & 4/2 Panther Open House UNI Gilchrist Hall, 8 am, 273-2281
28 UNI Spotlight Series - Performance Competition Finals GBPAC*, 7:30pm, 273-4849
29-4/1 Waverly Horse Sale Waverly Sale Barn, 352-2804
31 Final Thursday - Joe Benevento Hearst Center, 7pm, 273-8641
4/1-3 USA Kids & Cadets National Folkstyle Wrestling UNI-Dome
4/1-10 Cabaret Hope Martin Theatre, Waterloo, April 1,2,7,8 @7pm; April 3, 10 @2pm, 291-4494, wcpbhct.org
4/1 Dancing for Veterans Electric Park, Waterloo, 6pm, 234-6357
4/2 Outdoor Adventure Fest YMCA, Waterloo, 9am, 277-2187
4/2 Fools’ 5K George Wyth State Park, 9am, trekmanracing.com
4/2 Cedar Valley BaconFest McElroy Auditorium, Waterloo, 10:30am & 1pm, cedarvalleybaconfest.com
4/2 wcfsymphony - Bach II Brown Derby, Waterloo, 5&8:30pm, 273-3373
4/2 Black Hawks Hockey vs Sioux City Young Arena, Waterloo, 7pm, 232-3444
4/3 The Letterman GBPAC, 3pm, 273-4849
4/3 Vintage Music Festival Cedar Falls Amvets, 1pm, 319-429-1255
4/5 Cedar Falls School Bond Vote polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
4/5 Hearst Film Series - Wes Anderson Hearst Center, 7pm, 273-8641
4/7 Hops On Main Downtown Main St, 5:30pm, 277-0213
7-10 The Trojan Women UNI Strayer- 14-17 Wood Theatre, Thurs-Sat 7:30pm; Sun 2pm
7 Harlem Globetrotters McLeod Center, 7pm, 273-4849
7 Kishi Bashi with Strings GBPAC, 7:30pm, 273-4849
7 CultureFest 2016 Waterloo Center for the Arts, 5:30pm, 291-4490
8 Swing Dancing Lampost Theatre Co., 7pm, 277-8034
Medicaid Managed Care Begins April 1 - Despite Problems
Despite continued problems and delays, the Governor’s plan to privatize Medicaid will begin on April 1, 2016. The change was originally planned for January 1, 2016, but the federal government delayed the proposal two separate times due to the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) not being sufficiently prepared.
For months, many Medicaid members have complained about the transition process including poor communication with DHS and the private managed care organizations taking over Medicaid. In addition, not all providers have signed an agreement with the private managed care organizations. As a result, members are fearful that they will not be able to see their established provider and will lose services as a result.
As the change moves forward, there may still be issues including coverage of services and reimbursements for provided services. To obtain help with these issues and questions, members and providers should contact the following:
For Iowa Medicaid Member - IME Member Services
Phone: 1-800-338-8366 (toll free) or 515-256-4606
For Iowa Medicaid Providers - IME Provider Services
Phone: 1-800-338-7909 (toll free) or 515-256-4609
Provider Managed Care Organization Contacts: https://dhs.iowa.gov/ime/providers/MCO-contact-info
Managed Care Organizations
Amerigroup Iowa, Inc.
UnitedHealthcare Plan of the River Valley
New Opportunities, Jobs in Renewable Energy
Even though Iowa is already a world leader in renewable energy and biofuels, state lawmakers are encouraging new investments that will add additional value to the byproducts created when making biofuels.
Industrial facilities in Iowa producing food and fuel products from corn, soybeans, and other renewable products also produce byproducts that can be refined into higher value building block chemicals that can then be processed into products such as plastics, paints, textiles and pharmaceuticals. Currently, this leftover biomass is being underutilized.
If signed into law, Iowa will become one of the first states in the nation to incentivize the refining and processing of renewable chemicals from already existing byproducts.
It is estimated that in just over 10 years, 25 existing companies will produce eligible renewable chemicals totaling 1.25 billion pounds and that six new companies will produce 600 million pounds in eligible chemicals.
Continue Reading the Statehouse News
Pharmacy Legislation Moves Forward
Special Education Change and Teacher Fee Increase Nullified
Supreme Court to Hear Case on Felon Voting Rights
Decorah Eagles Return to Nest
Deadline for Future Ready Summit is April 11th
Public Input Sought Regarding High-Need Schools
Iowa Energy Plan Forums Scheduled Across State
To read the rest of my Statehouse News go to:http://iowahouse.org/StatehouseNews/4-1-16