Thursday, September 23, 2021

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From last week’s “Once upon a time”: “50 years ago (September 1965): Contract procedures were revised because of Dutch Elm disease requiring so many more trees to be condemned as a public nuisance and ordered removed. Future bid proposals are for 1,000 trees per bid, divided into four different diameters of trees, and are required to be cut within four inches of the ground.” What happened to all those 4-inch stumps? As history often tends to repeat itself, will our current city council be “stumped” in 2015 by the invasion of the ash borer?

Mike Rowley

Stop privatization of Medicaid in Iowa
Under the misleading euphemism “Medicaid Modernization,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad intends to give the administration of Iowa Medicaid services to four private corporations: Amerigroup, Wellcare, UnitedHealthcare and AmeriHealth. According to The Des Moines Register, these managed care insurance companies have collectively been fined for such mismanagement as fraud, refusing services to pregnant women and unhealthy people, skimping services, false reports, inflated expenses and other violations. The “billion dollar jackpot” these corporations will receive will be mostly federal funds.

Branstad’s staff says privatization will save money. Compared to Iowa’s current low Medicaid administrative costs, “privatizing will increase administrative costs up to 300 percent — money not spent on actual health care.” Public Policy Polling reports that only 22 percent of Iowans approve of the plan. Branstad’s plan cannot succeed in Iowa without the approval of the federal agency: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Persuading CMS not to approve is the only way to stop his plan.

William Johnson
-Des Moines

Prep Iowa

Republican Party has failed the test of leadership
Republicans are furious because President Obama continues to prove they were wrong on every major prediction about his presidency. They predicted an Obama presidency would be a catastrophic disaster. They promised the economy would collapse, Obamacare would fail, there would be health care death panels, the stock market would crash, the price of gas would hit $10 a gallon, unemployment would grow, climate change would be proven a myth and he would take away their guns. When you make those incredibly ridiculous predictions and they don’t come true, it leaves two options: Either admit you were wrong and apologize, or deny reality and angrily escalate their rhetoric by making even more extreme accusations. They have chosen the second option because admitting they were wrong proves they have totally failed the test of leadership. Why would any voter seriously consider allowing them to govern the country when they have been wrong over and over again? The rise of Donald Trump is the direct result of the failed Republican leadership. The traditional Republican Party leaders have misled, misrepresented and been proven wrong continuously and consistently. It appears at least 25 percent of the Republican base thinks Trump is the solution to a failed Republican party.

Rick Smith

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