DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa hospital association spokesman said at a state unemployment hearing that he was fired after using satirical, "Donald Trump language" in criticizing Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds' handling of Medicaid privatization.
Thomas "Scott" McIntyre was dismissed from his post as vice president of communications for the Iowa Hospital Association after his personal, nonpublic Facebook post in March. He said at the Sept. 30 hearing that he was trying to be funny with his post, The Des Moines Register reported.
The content of McIntyre's post was not immediately available.
"I was trying to, like, do it satirically, like, kind of in a Donald Trump language. Kind of an over-the-top, hyperbole thing," McIntyre said during the hearing.
But the post rubbed a "small but powerful group" of the association's members the wrong way, he said, and, despite issuing an apology, he was dismissed after 18 years with the association. It advocates for more than 125 hospitals and health care systems in the state.
President Trump's supporters have praised him for straight talk and candor, but critics often decry his language — especially in his tweets — as bombastic.
Association spokesman Craig Borchard has declined to comment. Pat Garrett, a spokesman for Reynolds, told the newspaper that the governor was not consulted about the matter.
Supporters of the privatization have said it's leading to more efficient, effective care. But critics have complained that it has yet to achieve those goals.
The state has agreed to increase its rate of payment to the private companies several times, the latest being an 8.6%, $386 million-a-year hike announced in July.
The records say McIntyre won his unemployment appeal. He's declined to speak about the case but did tell the Register that he's still looking for a new job.
"I'm just trying to move on," he said.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com