When it comes to the health of our friends and family, there should be no debate about doing all we can to provide them access to proper health care. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s the smart thing to do.
By giving Iowans and other Americans access to affordable health care throughout their lifetime, we can make serious improvements to Americans’ quality of life while saving Iowans from outcomes like medical bankruptcy (Kaiser Family Foundation). Unfortunately, Republicans don’t agree. They support rationing health care to only those that can afford it and leaving insurance companies unchecked in their price-gouging ways.
ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL IOWANS IS A RIGHT.
Democrats believe that health care should be accessible to all Iowans, which is why we strongly support the Affordable Care Act and stand firmly against any Republican attempt to repeal it. It is our desire to work together on a bipartisan basis to combat rising premiums and increase the coverage that ACA offers while continuing to look at ways to improve and continue what the ACA started. It is our belief that all Iowans should have access to affordable prescription drugs, and we look for opportunities to fight unfair mark-ups on prescription drugs that cost taxpayers.
We believe that Medicaid should be expanded to ensure more Iowans receive preventative care, thereby reducing the risk of expensive emergency care. This is also the reason why we support the expansion of immunization services through your local pharmacists. Also, we oppose all exemptions, other than health, from immunization requirements for children attending Pre-K and K-12 schools and childcare centers.
We believe that Broadlawns Medical Center is underfunded, which means fewer doctors and nurses, longer waits and lives at risk. We support state and federal funding to clinics providing essential family planning services, including Planned Parenthood, regardless of whether they perform legal abortions.
THE PRIVATIZATION OF MEDICAID MUST BE REVERSED.
No issue highlights how poorly Iowa’s most vulnerable have been treated by years of Republican control as the privatization of Iowa’s Medicaid program. Since being implemented without legislative approval in 2016, following in the footsteps of Kansas’ disastrous managed care model, there has been evidence of the heartbreaking gaps in care for Iowans who deserve to know that their promised care will be delivered.
As Democrats committed to quality healthcare for every Iowan, we call for the reversal of Medicaid privatization. There is no evidence that privatization has saved taxpayers money - instead, Iowa Medicaid officials seem unable to provide any clear savings figure, and their claims (which have a high chance of being completely manufactured) fall well short of the savings promised by then-Governor Branstad.
Let’s take the care of some of our most vulnerable away from companies who only care about the bottom line and back into the hands of those who care for their fellow Iowans.
MENTAL HEALTH MUST BE A TRUE PRIORITY, WITH FUNDING ALLOTTED.
After years of unsettling reports of Iowa’s low rankings on various mental healthcare issues, the 2018 legislative brought some progress on the issue, with a fairly expansive mental healthcare reform bill being signed into law. However, there needs to be a focus on how these mental health reforms will be paid for as the expansion of services begins to look symbolic rather than an actual step forward without adequate funding to support it.
Currently, local authorities will be tasked with paying for this increase in services, and while the Iowa Republican delegation celebrated massive tax cuts being signed into law in May -- it begs the question, who will pay for these improvements in mental health care?
We support funding efforts to help families diagnose mental health conditions, including autism, and help parents find adequate treatment options.
We support federal legislation that exempts state medical cannabis programs from the federal controlled substances act and reclassifies cannabis to facilitate research.
We support legislation that empowers Iowans suffering from a terminal illness and who are mentally competent and under-qualified medical care, to make a personal choice as to the time and manner of their own death.
Learn more about our plans to improve health care for all Iowans by reading our platform.