Under the Golden Dome, Too – April 2

Upmeyer UTGD

The warmer temperatures, sporadic rain showers, and green grass beginning to peek through Iowa’s rich soil, are all refreshing reminders that spring certainly has sprung in Iowa.

This week wrapped up the second legislative funnel, which means in order for a policy bill to remain eligible for consideration this year, it is required to have passed either the House or Senate and a committee of the other chamber.

One piece of legislation I am disappointed the Senate chose not to consider was HF 247. This bill passed with bipartisan support in the House and would require an asset verification process for recipients of Medicaid. The purpose of the proposal is to prevent fraud, misrepresentation, and the inappropriate use of Iowa’s Medicaid program.

Iowans are a very caring, giving and sharing group of people. When help is needed, we answer the call. Iowans also demand accountability and transparency in their government. HF 247 encompasses these Iowa values.

Eliminating fraud in Medicaid not only protects the taxpayer’s investment, but it also means more of the money that is intended to help those in need, is actually received by those individuals. I’m perplexed as to why there isn’t more interest in accomplishing this initiative.

Every year we hear that we need more money for programs like Medicaid, and while that might be appropriate, we should constantly be vigilant that the programs aren’t being abused. The first step before increasing funding should always be to ensure that taxpayer dollars currently appropriated are being spent appropriately.

There should be nothing more precious to us, as your elected officials, than the dollars you send us. When we have a clear opportunity to reduce the amount of fraud and inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars, we have a duty to do that. It’s easy to spend the money, but the hard part is ensuring your hard-earned tax dollars are being spent wisely. It is our responsibility to do the hard work and take these necessary steps.

HF 247 would ensure taxpayer dollars are being used in the most efficient manner possible to help Iowans truly in need. It is unfortunate the Iowa Senate chose not to keep this proposal alive.

As we move forward this session, if you have any questions or feedback about the issues before us, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can always be reached at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or 515-281-4618.

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