Thursday, September 24, 2009

Iowa Republicans announce state-based health care reforms

“Iowa Health Care Initiatives” focus on accessibility, affordability, and portability

Cedar Rapids, IA – Republican Party of Iowa State Chairman Matt Strawn today joined State Senator David Johnson, State Representative Linda Upmeyer, and Cedar Rapids health care professional Cynthia Roehr at Kirkwood Community College’s new Healthcare Simulation Center to announce a series of bold state-based health care initiatives.

“Market-based solutions with minimal state interference, not a sweeping federal takeover, are the key to making health insurance in Iowa more accessible, affordable, and portable,” said Strawn in announcing the Iowa GOP’s “Iowa Health Care Initiatives.”

The Health Care Initiatives are: 1) Accessibility: adopt the Patients Right to Know Act and provide low cost catastrophic health plans for those under age 30; 2) Affordability: pass medical malpractice and tort reform, expand health insurance tax deductibility to individuals and all small businesses, and provide prevention credits that reduce premium costs when successfully participating in wellness activities; and, 3) Portability: prohibit exclusions for pre-existing conditions when changing plans with the same insurance provider.

“Republicans have real plans to increase the accessibility of health insurance without a massive government takeover of the system. With more than half of all Iowa’s uninsured age 18-30 we can make a huge dent in this number by simply incenting insurance carriers to create a basic insurance product at a modest price point,” said Rep. Upmeyer, a health-care professional who also serves as second-ranking Republican in the Iowa House.

Senator Johnson said, “We can take bold steps to reduce health costs. We can free doctors from the need to practice defensive medicine. We can expand the tax deductibility of health insurance premiums. We can create a true financial incentive for individual Iowans and their employers to participate in wellness programs,” said Sen. Johnson, who serves as Assistant GOP Leader in the Iowa Senate.

Strawn concluded, “The Healthcare Simulation Center here at Kirkwood and the training they are doing here is a great example of what is right with our health care system. However, Iowa Republicans understand our system is far from perfect and we offer these initiatives in a good faith effort to fix that which is broken without breaking that which serves Iowans well.”

In the coming months the Republican Party of Iowa, in conjunction with Iowa House and Senate Republicans, will continue to travel the state and offer additional solution sets on such issues as education, family, energy, environment, and transparency and ethics.

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