Affordable Health Care for All

We cannot pretend Iowa is somehow the “healthiest state in the nation” when we are only asking Iowans to take a walk “somewhere” once a year. We can and will meet the goal of becoming the healthiest state in this decade. However, it will take personal engagement, structural change in the payment system and a new delivery system to make it happen.

Perhaps the most important step we can take is the creation of a new, integrated, patient-centered health care delivery system that combines Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance into an integrated provider payment system within the current private market. This will include integrating mental health into our current primary health system; ensuring rural Iowa participates fully in access to health care (which is currently not happening), and that consumers have full access to their medical records while maintaining full and complete choice in how their health care is received and managed.

Our health care education system in Iowa must be viewed as a potential economic development driver as we educate and place more of the best and brightest physicians, nurses and other health care professionals here.

The health of Iowans’ pocketbooks is an important component of health care reform. The overall goal of our health care efforts must be to bend the cost curve downward so that Iowa families are not paying more for their health insurance premiums every year. By eliminating administrative overhead, providing care at the less-expensive end of the patient care spectrum (more primary care, fewer emergency room visits) and addressing chronic care needs before they become critical, we can reduce health care costs for all.