Medicaid Matters Coalition holds inaugural lobby day
We're switching things up this week! Instead of our usual "Weekly 3" update, check out the sights and sounds of Medicaid Matters Coalition's first-ever lobby day at the Capitol last Thursday. Here are some highlights:
First, some background info. Formed over a year ago, Medicaid Matters Coalition is a diverse group of nonprofit organizations from across Iowa working toward a single goal — to protect and improve Medicaid in our state. We're 40+ members strong, raising awareness around Medicaid as a key factor for many Iowans, including kids, those with disabilities, the elderly, those with mental illness or folks working in low-paying jobs.
We're focusing our advocacy on three areas:
Protect and defend Medicaid from harmful changes and funding cuts
Increase access to essential health services by reimbursing providers fairly
Leverage Medicaid as one of the tools to address mental health across the lifespan
Medicaid matters to Iowans. We know how important Medicaid is to Iowans' health, development and ability to thrive — and we're working hard to make sure our state lawmakers and leaders understand it, too!
Advocates meet with Senator Miller Meeks (R-Ottumwa), pictured left, to highlight Medicaid's role in rural health access.
The Center's Anne Discher (pictured left) and American Heart Association's Stacy Freelund (right) discuss with Rep. Bergan (R-Dorchester) how the legislature can best support a robust Medicaid program in Iowa.
After meeting with legislators, coalition members talked with DHS director Kelly Kennedy Garcia (pictured right) and public information officer Matt Highland (center) about Medicaid's supporting role across many of Iowa's human services. Above, Kim Scorza (Seasons Center for Behavioral Health), pictured left, illustrates how low reimbursement rates are affecting mental health treatment and access in northwest Iowa. Coalition members held a similar meeting with members of the Governor's staff.
We left something special behind with lawmakers to help remind them Medicaid is key for Iowans!
Pictured (left to right): Chaney Yeast (Blank Children's Hospital), Peggy Huppert (National Alliance on Mental Illness Iowa), Amelia Cogan (CFPC intern and public health grad student at Iowa), Emily Ehlers (Disability Rights Iowa), Jenn Wolfe (UpgradeMedicaid), Kim Scorza (Seasons Center for Behavioral Health), Mary Nelle Trefz (CFPC), Denise Rathman (National Association of Social Workers Iowa), Jackie Cale (American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network), Rob Marlo-Franks (Iowa Primary Care Association), Anne Discher (CFPC) and Stacy Freelund (American Heart Association).
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