When you look at the roll calls to see how many Democrats voted for SF 2349, it seems stunning that they voted for this flawed bill. But the answer lies in election year politics and the Republicans using their power to force Democrats to vote in a no-win situation while giving a big wet kiss to Farm Bureau and Wellmark.
Earlier I wrote about Senator Liz Mathis asking new Senate Leader Senator Jack Whitver to add the language from HF 2462 to the Health and Human Services appropriation bill when it comes to the Senate floor for vote. This bill will include all spending for HHS programs for the next fiscal year and is the last chance for the needs of our most vulnerable Iowans to be addressed this session.
There have been bills and proposals by the Democrats that would help Iowans struggling with health insurance like HIPO and reversing the privatization of Medicaid.
This is the kind of legislation that the majority has refused to bring up for debate and passage this session.
Instead they have accomplished a public relations stunt that will give unregulated junk insurance to young healthy Iowans at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens, while at the same time they are gaslighting us by claiming Farm Bureau and Wellmark are somehow a savior in this process.
Low-information voters must be included in the equation for Democrats to regain the majority in Iowa, and the Republicans recognize that fact and have crafted legislation like SF 2349, not just as a giveaway to their donors but also to give Democrats a Sophie’s choice of which way to vote.
Whether you have chronic health issues or are healthy and angry over premiums, one group will be angered by this roll call. This bill may lower some premiums if its language gets around the ACA, but it does nothing to fix our health care crisis and makes things worse for those with chronic illnesses.
The Farm Bureau/Wellmark joint venture will just cherry pick healthy Iowans, shifting more cost on the ACA-compliant Medica. Wellmark bailed on sick Iowans last year but smells money in SF 2349.
While registered as undecided on this bill initially, Medica Lobbyists registered against SF 2349 when it became apparent that this legislation would drive their profit margins even further down, leaving Iowa’s only remaining ACA insurer headed towards bankruptcy.
Medica has stated they will sue if this legislation passes.
This is the real plan of Wellmark and Farm Bureau, to take us back to the days of pre-existing conditions where bankruptcy is the norm for those with serious illnesses.
To fix this mess in Iowa, we need to get at least one chamber and the governor’s seat in Iowa. The Republicans recognize this, and SF 2349 is one of the tricks they are pulling to stop us.
We can’t regain power by angering most of the constituents in a district. If a majority of outreach to Democrats from constituents doesn’t get the scam of SF 2349 and is asking for relief, that explains these votes.
We can help by explaining to our lower information friends that a Public Option/Medicare/Medicaid for all is the only answer and that the private insurers profiting off our sickness is the problem.
Most, if not all, Democratic candidates for Governor have already discussed ending privatized Medicaid, and some along with Congressional Candidates are expressing the need for Medicaid/Medicare for all.
Ask your legislators where they stand on this issue and if they voted for SF 2349 and why. And share that knowledge with friends and get them to the polls in November. Otherwise the games and giveaways to those who deserve it the least will continue at our expense in both our pocketbooks and health.
by Matt Chapman