In April, Medicaid modernization plans went into effect. Although this effort to provide better quality care and services has come under fire from critics, the first Medicaid modernization quarterly report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services shows the changes have been a success.

The point of contention for many critics is the move away from the state managed care to three separate managed care organizations. While some naysayers cried privatization, others predicted inferior services and decreased access to doctors. These fears have not come to fruition. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. The quarterly report shows substantial taxpayer savings, unprecedented oversight, and a significant focus on improving Medicaid patient health.

I hope we could all agree that Iowans deserve the best possible health care possible. To accomplish this goal, we cannot get stuck in the past and wedded to old-fashioned programs that no longer fit the needs of the modern era. It was time for old Medicaid to be modernized and I applaud Gov. Terry Branstad and his fellow policymakers for making smart decisions for Iowa citizens.

Audrae Zoeckler