Complaint Questions Cost Of Iowa Governor’s Flight To Game

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Democrats are accusing Gov. Kim Reynolds of a “pay for play” arrangement by accepting campaign contributions from a company that provides Medicaid services under Iowa’s privatized health care program for poor and disabled residents.

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price said Monday the Reynolds campaign received $1,000 in December from Anthem, the parent company of Amerigroup, months before the state renewed its Medicaid contract. Another donation of $1,500 was made Aug. 22, two days before the state announced Amerigroup and UnitedHealthCare would get a $100 million increase in state funding.

Reynolds’ staff spokeswoman Brenna Smith says Medicaid funding is based on recommendations from the Department of Human Services and its independent actuary based on expected medical costs. Selections must be approved by a federal agency.

Campaign spokesman Pat Garrett says accusations the payments were linked to the contracts are “as false as they are desperate.”

The state is dealing with persistent complaints that Medicaid services deteriorated under privatization and the promised millions of dollars in savings haven’t materialized.