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Bertrand calls for Planned Parenthood to be dropped as Medicaid provider

Bertrand at rallyFrom Press Release

 

During a Pro-Life rally Tuesday at Planned Parenthood in Sioux City, State Senator Rick Bertrand (R-Sioux City) called for the Iowa Chapter of Planned Parenthood to be dropped from the State of Iowa’s Medicaid approved provider list.  This procedural maneuver would prevent Planned Parenthood of Iowa from receiving any form of Medicaid funding reimbursements from the State of Iowa.

To a vocal crowd of pro-life activists Bertrand said, “I appreciate the Governor and my fellow legislators request for a Planned Parenthood investigation, but we don’t need an investigation to tell us what we already know. We all know that Planned Parenthood does not directly receive Medicaid dollars for abortion procedures, but the reality is that they do receive over $5 million annually in Medicaid reimbursements for other services performed.”

Bertrand continued, “Dollars move fluidly through organizations like Planned Parenthood, and our tax dollars do pay for staffing, equipment, electricity and all of the day to day activities.  To say our tax dollars are not funding abortions is simply not factual.”

Bertrand spoke specific on the procedure that would drop Planned Parenthood from the Iowa Medicaid Approved Provider list.

“This is an insurance issue and should be dealt with by the insurance commission and the department of DHS,” Bertrand continued. “If we had an approved Medicaid provider that was caught by a whistleblower’s video participating in fraud, the state would immediately freeze funding during the investigation and upon conclusion drop this care provider from the State’s approved reimbursement list.”

Iowa Code Chapter 514F.3 specifically provides outlines for the approval of Preferred Providers for Medicaid reimbursements and is overseen by the Iowa Insurance Commission.

The State Medicaid contract will be awarded within the next 60 days to a handful of MCOs (Managed Care Organizations) who will oversee a nearly 4.2 billion dollar allocation. Bertrand, the highest ranking Republican member of the State Government committee added, “The time is now to call on DHS Director Palmer to exercise his oversight authority, specifically the oversight clause dealing with “program integrity” within the approved provider process.”

Bertrand, who worked in the Bio-tech and Managed care arena for 12 years continued, “I understand how the Preferred Provider list is developed by MCO’s outside the states oversight, yet we passed last year SF 505 which in Section 63-64 requires a legislative oversight committee surrounding Medicaid implementation to be formed in March of 2016.

“We as a legislative body understood the need to provide for transparency and oversight by the legislature as this new expansion of Medicaid develops.  We knew we had to have some ability to prevent fraud and have a say within the MCO organizations and the contracting, so don’t tell me we do not have the ability to remove a bad actor from Iowa Medicaid.”

Bertrand agreed that defunding help from the Federal Level is a must.  “Defunding Title 10 dollars is a must at the Federal level,” he said.

Title 10, which was created during the Nixon administration, is the appropriation block that funds the majority of Planned Parenthood funding.

Bertrand concluded, “I’m tired of investigations and signing petitions. The time is now to remove this bad actor from our Medicaid roles and put the focus back onto women’s health and education.”