“I Would Still Have My Daughter” If Not For Health Cost Fears

In her early twenties, Seana O’Reilly set out on a move to Paradise, California, far away from her home of Turin, Iowa, a tiny town on the western side of the state.. A new adventure brought opportunity for change and a new level of autonomy. As is the case with many young adults, O’Reilly was hesitant to seek medical care, fearing the high costs. Even when her mother, Chere Fox-O’Reilly, noticed a drastic weight change in her daughter and urged her to see a doctor, O’Reilly didn’t want to take the financial risk. “She just kept getting thinner and thinner […]

Iowan: “Private Health Insurance Is Great … Until You Get Sick”

Shortcomings of the health care industry in the United States have been exposed in the 2020 presidential election debate. For one Iowan, even paying into private insurance left her at risk of losing it all. “I am living out the pitfalls of employer-provided health care insurance,” said Robin Stone, a resident of Delaware County in Eastern Iowa, struggling with a personal health crisis. “My health care is tied to my employer, and that threatened my life this week.” Stone has insulin-dependent diabetes. Until recently, that was her biggest medical hurdle. But after her employer dropped one of their health insurance […]

5 Democratic Health Care Ideas You May Not Know About

The health care discussion in the Democratic presidential primary has been dominated by Medicare for All. Candidates are asked to pick a side, tell voters how they would pay for it and how universal coverage would affect the country’s private health insurance industry. But there are many other aspects of health insurance, access and services that matter to the broader debate. At this point, most candidates have their health care policies fleshed out, and there are some interesting pieces spread throughout the differing plans. Let’s take a look at some of the unique policy proposals buried in candidates’ policy rollouts: Cutting […]

Joe Biden Defends Obamacare In New Personal TV Ad In Iowa

“Health care is personal to me,” Biden says in his new ad. “Obamacare is personal to me.” The ad addresses Biden’s personal experiences, drawing on a car accident that took his wife and daughter’s lives, as well as his son Beau’s struggle with brain cancer. The messaging in the new ad is similar to what Biden’s message has been on the campaign trial: Obamacare was a huge step forward, and Biden would like to build on it and continue its legacy, not scrap it. Speaking of Obamacare, Biden says, “When I see the President try to tear it down and […]

How Dark Money Groups Are Attacking Dems’ Health Care Plans

More than a million dollars worth of advertising spots were purchased in August in Iowa by three dark-money groups trying to impact the health care conversation in the state as voters vet presidential candidates. One Nation, Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, and Doctor Patient Unity all spent big bucks to buy spots in the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids markets, targeting different pieces of health care legislation. One Nation is most specifically targeting Medicare for All, using it as a way to attack Democrats and help Republicans hold their seats in the Senate. Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, […]

How Joni Ernst Defends Her Health Care Record

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst gets non-stop questions about her stance on health care issues when she’s out at her town hall meetings. She often says she supports preexisting condition coverage despite voting five times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a few of which had options to open loopholes back up for insurers to drop people with preexisting medical conditions. “Everyone will point the finger and say you don’t support people with preexisting conditions,” Ernst said. “That’s not true. That’s simply not true. I have never said — Interestingly enough, Type 1 Diabetes is rampant in my family as well […]

Health Care Industry Spending Millions in Iowa to Preserve Profits

While Democratic candidates pitch their plans on improving America’s health care system to Iowans, three dark-money groups are blanketing the Iowa airwaves with attacks ads on those reforms and similar issues. Aligned with the health care industry, they are airing ads against Medicare for All and other progressive health care legislation, spending over $1 million in the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids media market alone in just the month of August. Despite having different particular goals, the ads of each group have a similar tone — changing the health care system will hurt patients. This flies in the face of […]

STD Rates In Southeast Iowa Continue To Rise

As family planning clinics across the country face a mounting number of obstacles to providing health care, the conversation often is focused on abortion services and birth control. But family planning services also include Sexually Transmitted Disease [STD] testing and treatment, and data show the absence of family planning services often results in increased STD rates. STD rates have gone up across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Impact On Iowa According to data gathered by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the state had about 19,807 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in […]

Iowan To Joni Ernst: The ACA Helped My Rural Hospital

Sen. Joni Ernst told a crowd of constituents at a recent town hall meeting her “commitment to rural America is very strong” because she lives in rural Iowa. Josh Dahle challenged that statement, explaining to Ernst how the Affordable Care Act benefited a rural hospital where he used to work, and how her votes to repeal the ACA were, in fact, not good for rural America. Rather than make a humanitarian argument for the ACA — that all Americans should have health insurance — Dahle said he has reframed the discussion around economics when talking to Republicans about the benefits […]