There are certain American values that should not be up for debate – in Iowa, in Washington, or anywhere else. Healthcare is a human right, and extending access to quality and affordable care to every American must be a top priority in Congress. It will certainly be one of mine, and I won’t be afraid to fight for universal health care – including a public option.
Sadly, that’s not the case for our current representative. Rod Blum has made clear where he stands on this critical issue by voting1 to raise monthly premiums on Iowans by up to thousands of dollars and to leave 23 million more Americans uninsured.2 And when President Trump made the irresponsible decision to cancel Cost Sharing Reduction payments that keep insurance rates down for Iowans – a move that was projected to increase premiums by 13%3 – Rep. Blum stood by and did nothing.
Many of our state leaders in Des Moines have failed us as well, pushing a disastrous Medicaid privatization scheme that working families and reduced funds for important rural hospitals, among other problems.4
That’s unacceptable. It’s past time for leadership that puts working Iowa families first, and that means fighting to protect and build upon the progress we made in the Affordable Care Act toward the goals of achieving universal healthcare coverage and lowering the cost of care. I’ll fight back against all attempts to raise premiums, kick Iowans off their healthcare, or reduce the services covered by their insurance, such as annual preventive care checkups, maternity care, or addiction and mental health treatment.
At the same time, we need to ensure that underserved communities in Iowa have access to the health care services they need. This means fighting for community health centers and critical access hospitals that serve towns and cities throughout our state, as well as making sure that funding for the vital Children’s Health Insurance Program never lapses again, as Rep. Blum and his fellow Washington politicians recently allowed to happen for months.
We need representation in Congress that’s working for Iowans to improve our healthcare system and expand coverage and services that strengthen families. And it’s time for the partisan political games that have too often controlled the healthcare conversation in Washington to end.