Will Reynolds, Grassley and Ernst Abandon Iowa’s Most Vulnerable?

The Senate Republicans’ Trumpcare bill is predicted to devastate rural Iowa hospitals and nursing homes. The proposed 25% cut in Medicaid spending will put these Iowa facilities at risk of severe cuts in services or outright closure. Will Senators Grassley and Ernst vote for a healthcare plan that these healthcare stakeholders warn will destroy rural Iowa communities? Iowa’s senators failed to raise their voices while their Republican senate colleagues arrogantly crafted a plan in secrecy, without public input and without hearings. Grassley and Ernst have betrayed their responsibility to represent their constituents by remaining silent. Governor Reynolds was asked about […]

Medicaid Cuts Could Bring Back Scenes From Bygone Era

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, that’s a sure sign summer is here. And summer traditionally means vacation season. A summer vacation that is riveted in my memory was in August 1962 when my parents, my two brothers and I piled into our Dodge and headed for Washington, D.C. There were no water parks, thrill rides or giant ball of twine to tempt us. This vacation was all about history — the U.S. Capitol, the White House, monuments and memorials, Arlington National Cemetery and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. For an 11-year-old kid who had memorized the names […]

Bolkcom: Reynolds, Stand Up For Iowa’s Healthcare Exchange

An open letter to the governor from State Senator Joe Bolkcom Dear Governor Reynolds: [Last week], you will have had an opportunity to speak one-on-one with President Trump in Cedar Rapids. I support your announced plan to raise the issue of Iowa’s failing individual insurance market.  However, that issue is only one part of Iowa’s health care problems. Governor Reynolds, you must be aware that the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress is rushing to send President Trump health care legislation.  This legislation will devastate Iowa families, Iowa health care providers, the State of Iowa’s budget, and the Iowa economy. That’s why Iowans […]

Iowa Democrats Unveil Iowa Public Option Healthcare Plan

This week State Senator Matt McCoy, Representative John Forbes and former Senator Jack Hatch presented a “Public Option” to replace Iowa’s Obamacare Exchange. Earlier this year, the three major insurance carriers that sell coverage on the Iowa Exchange – Wellmark, Medica and Aetna – announced they wouldn’t participate in 2018. The withdrawal of these three insurance carriers leaves 72,000 Iowans without any insurance options for next year. With this looming insurance crisis these three Democrats decided they weren’t going to allow vulnerable Iowans to lose their coverage without a fight. Compare that to the near silence from Iowa Republicans, including […]

Tax Cuts Popular; The Consequences Aren’t

Iowa has had a peek at our future, but too few people have noticed. And that’s unfortunate. In case you missed the headlines last week, moderate Republicans in the Kansas Legislature finally became fed up with the fiscal mess created by Gov. Sam Brownback’s massive tax cuts. They joined with Democrats and reversed course in dramatic fashion. Lawmakers voted to restore $1.2 billion in income taxes — that’s billion, with a “b” — that Brownback and the Legislature’s Republican-majority enacted in 2012. The tax cuts five years ago were based on Brownback’s belief, and the philosophy of many conservatives elsewhere, […]

Iowa Democrats Working On Solutions To Iowa Healthcare Disaster

Effective January 1st, 2018, 72,000 Iowans will lose their insurance coverage through the Iowa Insurance Exchange (Obamacare). Thousands of Iowans are facing an imminent emergency with the pullout of the three primary insurance carriers-Wellmark, Aetna and Medica. It will be a catastrophic blow to those Iowa families participating in the Iowa Obamacare Exchange. Several Iowa Democratic legislators are proactively attempting to find a solution before the January cut-off. They held a public meeting in May to begin the discussion. Iowa Insurance Commissioner, Doug Ommen discussed some alternatives at that meeting. The Democratic legislators suggested some additional options. The second public […]

Governor, This Isn’t How You Get A Fresh Start

It’s too early to know, three weeks into her tenure as Iowa’s chief executive, whether Gov. Kim Reynolds will be much different from Gov. Terry Branstad. It’s too early to know whether she will approach issues from a different perspective. It’s too early to know whether she will adjust the course Branstad had set for the state. But one thing is certain. Iowa’s first female governor, a small-town girl from southern Iowa, comes to the job with a rich variety of experiences during her 57 years of life. She rolled up six and a half years as lieutenant governor, two […]

Will Congressional Shooting Produce A Unifying Moment?

The initial reaction following yesterday’s shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise and others was political unity. There has been some politicizing of the shooting, yet most of Congress has pulled together. It was a unifying event much like the reaction following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America. This attack on a Republican baseball practice was seen as an attack on all Americans. All day there were reports of Senators and Congressman embracing members of the opposite party.  There was very little finger pointing but rather an implicit recognition that it was a time to come together. In this toxic political divide […]

Bernie Sanders Back In Iowa On July 15th For CCI Convention

Senator Bernie Sanders will be the keynote speaker for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement’s Action Fund’s (CCI Action) annual convention in Des Moines on July 15th. This will be the first time Senator Sanders has returned to Iowa since the 2016 presidential election. CCI Action is describing the event as “Revolution Iowa – From Protest to Power.” In addition to Senator Sanders, a Black Lives Matter Founder, Alicia Garza, will be speaking as well. There will be an impressive list of speakers conducting workshops on these issues: climate, immigration, healthcare, water, and changing “business as usual” politics. Click this link […]

Look West, Democrats: California Leading Progressive Fight

Democrats searching for a national progressive message should look west, toward California. Governor Jerry Brown and Democrats have complete control of both houses of the state legislature and they are pursuing a bold progressive agenda. We continually hear Democrats criticizing other Democrats for not being progressive enough. We have had front row seats at the Iowa statehouse circus this year following Republicans gaining control of all three branches of Iowa government. California is the progressive model demonstrating what Iowa Democrats could accomplish if they can regain control of Iowa State government. California Democrats aren’t just challenging Trump and the national […]