Letter to the Editor:
One of the biggest issues facing Iowa’s health care system is abysmal Medicare reimbursement. At the same time, Congressmen Braley, Boswell, Loebsack recently supported an amendment to H.R. 4213 which included a provision increasing Medicare payments for rural doctors in California. This decision amounts to a $300 million increase in Medicare reimbursements for these providers over the next five years. They gave California providers more money while Iowa’s providers continues to rank at the bottom of Medicare payment levels.
As part of the federal health care bill, Congress created a special Medicare deal specifically for so-called “frontier” states (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming). These states will see their rates raised to the national average. While we should be upset that Iowa was left behind, we should be more upset that sweeping reform will never happen if special handouts keep going to individual states while health care costs continue to rise.
Words cannot convey the depth of disappointment and frustration in Reps. Braley, Boswell and Loebsack’s votes in favor of these backroom deals. They so willingly agree to special deals for other states, while Iowa providers continue to sit and wait – hoping they can keep practicing in rural Iowa.
Rep. Linda Upmeyer (Garner)
House Minority Whip
Rep. Linda Miller
Iowa House Human Services Committee Ranking Member