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It was another busy week at the Capitol, with several strong pieces of legislation moving forward. I’m hoping a bill I filed this week will join that list in the coming days. It will help ensure taxpayer dollars are used as efficiently as possible, which is in the best interest of all Iowans.

My bill puts reasonable parameters on the office space that may be leased by Iowa’s Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs). Managed care organizations are the for-profit insurance companies that run Iowa’s Medicaid system (sometimes referred to as our “privatized system”) by contracting with the state.

Iowa Total Care, which is owned by Centene Corporation, began a Medicaid contract with Iowa last summer. When the company moved to the state, it chose to lease one of the most expensive office buildings in all of Iowa, located on Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines. This brand, new building features luxuries few Iowans enjoy at their place of employment, including an automated Starbucks kiosk, rooftop terrace, and underground parking, to name a few.

My proposed legislation will require MCOs to lease space in more moderately priced buildings, rather than the top tier rental options. Considering that tax dollars are paying the lease, I believe this is a proposal most Iowans can get behind. It reasonably allows companies to finish their current rental agreements and also offers them the ability to request a waiver from the Governor if they can prove that they must have more expensive office space to adequately manage Iowa’s Medicaid system.

Also this week, I met with a number of constituents and groups to talk about issues of concern to them. If you or an organization you represent or volunteer with plan to be at the Capitol this session, please let me know by emailing me at Kristin.sunde@legis.iowa.gov.

Kristin Sunde

Author: Kristin Sunde