Lawsuit filed over Iowa’s switch to privately run Medicaid

A new lawsuit says Iowa’s privately run Medicaid program is violating federal laws and a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring that disabled Americans have a right to live as independently as possible.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by six Iowans named Gov. Kim Reynolds and the state Human Services Department director. It says the companies running Iowa’s Medicaid program have “engaged in a pattern and practice” of cutting payments to care providers without regard to whether those cuts ultimately will reduce services that people with disabilities rely on.

Reynolds’ spokeswoman Brenna Smith told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday that the governor’s office had not yet reviewed the lawsuit. A Human Services Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the legal matter.