What Joni Ernst’s Health Care Votes Mean To Iowan Laura Wright

As Republican-led efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act [ACA] continue, living with a chronic illness has become increasingly difficult. While some may still have a solid health insurance plan through their employer, that plan is tied to employment and still includes deductibles. What happens when an employment contract ends or a job is lost? That is the situation Laura Wright faced, and what has inspired her to become an activist on the health care scene, pushing back on members of Congress who continue to vote to limit coverage and tear down the ACA. “My job ended,” said Wright. “The […]

Poll: Iowans Want Medicare Negotiation; Grassley Opposes

A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that 86% of Iowans, including 83% of Iowa Republicans and 81% of Iowans who voted for President Trump, would support legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription prices with drug companies. This poll is being released ahead of a Senate Finance Committee hearing, where Chairman Chuck Grassley is leading a bill to reduce pharmaceutical costs. However, Grassley has gone on the record this year to oppose Medicare negotiations, instead looking for other ways to reduce costs. In January, Grassley told The Hill that he doesn’t want to “mess with the government […]

I Watched 8 Hours Of 2020 AARP Forums. Here’s What I Learned.

Last week, coincidentally timed with AARP/Des Moines Register candidate forums, nearly all of the Democratic presidential candidates rolled out long-term health care plans, as well as plans to strengthen social security and combat rising health care costs. While rising costs have been a major topic of discussion in Iowa during the summer, most of the conversation up to this point has been acknowledging problems. After watching every single candidate’s AARP forum, one thing is incredibly clear: the candidates know what the health care problems are. From the cap on taxable income, to pay-for-delay, loopholes in the tax code, unregulated pricing […]

The Policy Pushback On Medicare For All Begins In Earnest

Health care discussions have proven to be a major flashpoint for the 2020 Democratic candidates, leading to unsure endorsements on the debate stage, redacting debate answers and nuanced hesitancy on Medicare for All. A majority of the candidates are now offering health care plans other than an immediate Medicare for All system, most choosing instead to support the position of developing a public option as sort of a test run at a larger single-payer care system. On Monday, AARP and the Des Moines Register kicked off a week full of candidate forums to discuss health care plans, combatting rising pharmaceutical […]

Axne Puts Forth Bipartisan Legislation to Relieve Rural Hospitals

On Tuesday, Cindy Axne (D-IA) put forth legislation to relieve rural hospitals of supervision restraints that limit the ability of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to provide quality care. Working with Adrian Smith (R-NE), Axne introduced the bipartisan bill to postpone enforcement of oversight rules requiring Medicare hospitals to implement supervision provisions for outpatient therapeutic services. “We need to address staffing shortages in rural areas, but in the meantime, we need to make sure that regulations aren’t overly burdensome for rural hospitals,” Axne said in a statement. Arbitrary Supervision The legislation delays implementation of “direct supervision” – or the requirement that […]

AARP’s ‘Stop Rx Greed’ Campaign Kicks Off

Prescription drug prices are rapidly outrunning inflation rates, coverage options and people’s income, speakers at today’s AARP event in Des Moines warned. AARP brought together their members, volunteers, advocates from other agencies and representatives for Joni Ernst and Cindy Axne to kick off their “Stop Rx Greed: Cut Drug Prices Now” campaign this morning. They highlighted the problems of having no caps to out-of-pocket expenses, the absence of low-cost generic drug options and how a lack of price negotiation power for Medicare beneficiaries are harming Iowans. “We all know the cost of drugs is too high,” AARP’s Iowa State Director […]

By The Numbers: What An ACA Repeal Would Do To Iowans

The health care advocacy group Protect Our Care released a report on June 11 that documented the benefits of expanding Medicaid, as well as the efforts of the Trump-led Republican Party to derail the Affordable Care Act and roll back the clock on coverage qualifications. “In the last two years alone, we have evidence that clearly shows better health outcomes for people who live in states that expanded Medicaid compared to those who live in states that did not,” the report read. In March, the Trump Administration’s Justice Department filed a legal briefing making the case to a Texas judge […]

When Getting Booed Is The Strategy

John Delaney and John Hickenlooper both took an interesting approach to the California Democratic Convention last weekend, receiving boos from the room in response to their stances on Medicare for All and “socialism.” Delaney and Hickenlooper are running on two of the more moderate platforms (for Democrats, anyway), especially in regard to healthcare policy. And while the booing isn’t helpful for their standing among key California activists, both candidates are aiming to convince the rest of the party that their centrist-leaning policies make them the better choice to win the general election. “You know, if we’re not careful, we’re going […]