A spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Gross says if Gross is elected, he’ll reduce the number of Iowans who are on Medicaid, the government-paid medical insurance for the poor. Gross campaign spokesman Eric Woolson says the state’s Medicaid spending is over budget because Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack has used special “waivers” to extend benefits to poor Iowans who live above the poverty level. State officials say getting rid of the waivers Gross criticizes would end Medicaid benefits for 100 poor Iowa women with cervical cancer and 394 pregnant women. Gross’s proposal to provide Medicaid only to those who are at or below the poverty level would kick 30-thousand Iowans off Medicaid — about 12 percent of the Iowans who now receive government-paid health insurance. Woolson says Vilsack is providing services that’re above and beyond what the law says Medicaid must provide the poor. He says they need to recognize the state has to live within its financial constraints.Woolson was asked but would not give examples of medical services Gross would cut. Woolson says Gross would consult with private insurance companies to find ways to ferret out mismanagement of the government program.Woolson says as an example of excess, the Vilsack Administration recently spent one-point-seven million dollars to hire an out-of-state consultant to come up with a list of all the drugs prescribed to Iowans, a list Woolson says other states got cheaper, while still other states had Colleges of Pharmacy compile.
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