The 2008 Iowa Legislature convenes on January 14th and the two political parties have one broad goal in common, but there’s no guarantee they’ll come to an agreement that’ll yield action on the issue. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says the issue is health care reform.
"There’s already been a lot of energy and effort put into a health care commission and we’re going to look very seriously at the recommendations that they put out to us," he says. "We hope to be able to expand access to health care for everybody, particularly for kids." House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says making health care more affordable is the key.
"Really focusing on portability — how do Iowans, are they able to hang on to their insurance if they change jobs or how do we stop them from being hit by a preexisting condition and all of the sudden they lose insurance," Rants says. Both lawmakers said a year ago that this issue was a top level concern among state policymakers, yet coming to an agreement that charted new territory proved elusive.