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SHORT WEEK BUT NO SHORTAGE OF WORK AT CAPITOL

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Snow and the Iowa Caucuses cut the legislative work week short, but that didn't stop the flood of new bills that were introduced this week. Since our last issue of infoNET, more than 275 bills have been introduced, dealing with everything from legalizing fireworks to ending Medicaid managed care to stopping Iowa's universities from interacting with Stanford University (because their band made fun of Iowa at the Rose Bowl game).  While the last bill was what we call a "message bill" - not one that is serious - there were many very serious bills filed this week. 

The Senate Democrats continue to try to stop the Governor's Medicaid managed care plan, introducing a bill that would return to a state-managed Medicaid system and another that would increase oversight of the privately-managed system and address many of the concerns they heard from people around the state.  While these bills both send messages to the Governor's office about the Senate's unhappiness with the way the managed care plan was rolled out, there are some areas where the House and Senate might reach agreement. 

Our next articles will go into more detail about what these bills do.  We know that many of you are concerned about this change and what it means to your services now and in the future.  We know some of you are excited about new opportunties that might be offered under managed care, especially when it comes to living independently in your communities.  That's why we want to let you know what's in the bills, and what you can do to express your thoughts to your legislators.  ID Action does not take a stand on issues - but we know this is an emotional and confusing issue to many of you.  As we often say, advocacy isn't just about sitting up and taking notice.  It's about getting up and taking action.  So take a few minutes out of your day to let your legislators know what you think about any of the issues covered - it's your right, and it's your responsibility.

Were you successful?  Share your story with us and other advocates by emailing us at infonet@idaction.org.