HealthCare for All Iowans
When it comes to Iowans’ healthcare, we should be focused on providing the best possible medical care at the lowest cost. The complex federal-state relationship can make healthcare policy challenging, and the lack of stability at the federal level has only made it worse. But there are things Iowa can do to show it is a leader in the healthcare field. At the end of the day, we must recognize that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.
First, we need to strengthen our own state's health insurance system and protect the people who are in the individual marketplace. Second, we can support preventative care programs to help Iowans identify potential health problems before they arise. This lowers healthcare costs and keeps Iowans healthy. Third, we need to continue the dialogue on smaller communities' access to healthcare as more small hospitals threaten to consolidate.
Mental health in our state also cannot be overlooked. Iowa has failed to adequately aid our citizens with mental illness, and the state’s mental health challenges are only increasing. Iowa needs proactive strategies to get more treatment to more people who need it. We can do this by attracting and retaining more mental health providers, increasing the capacity of treatment centers, and continuing our fight to destigmatize mental illness and substance abuse.
We also must do something to combat our current opioid epidemic. We need to work with physicians and hospitals to reduce access to prescription opioid drugs. We also need to consider medication-assisted treatment and how to bring those already addicted back into the mainstream. Opioid overdoses and deaths disproportionately affect those who are unemployed. We need to work together as a state on this issue, and we also need to advocate on a national level so that our federal government takes action.