July 25, 2014

Republicans touting state healthcare changes

Republicans are traveling the state today offer an alternative the federal healthcare reform plan. Republican Party chairman, Matt Strawn, says the address several issues in their plan. Strawn says they would have a focus on accessibility through he “Patient’s Right to Know Act,” they would provide low-cost catastrophic health plans for uninsured people under 30 — which he says includes half the uninsured in Iowa.

They would also focus on affordability, including medical malpractice and tort reform, and would expand the health insurance tax deductibility to individuals and all small businesses. Straw says other provisions include credits on insurance plans for people making lifestyle changes to get healthier and  limiting restrictions on denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Strawn says focusing on prevention could help pay for the plan as he says federal officials say you save four dollars for every one dollar spent on preventative medicine.

He says for example only 34% of small businesses that employ less than 10 people, actually offer health care coverage. Strawn says expanding the tax credit for small businesses would cost “considerably less” than leaving the people uninsured or by instituting the “expansive Medicaid program” offered by Democrats. Strawn says they need to protect those who’re already doing the right thing.

Strawn says they have to make sure the coverage already offered by small businesses is not imperiled by what happens at the federal plan. Strawn says state officials need to step forward and ensure that Iowans are getting the best healthcare plan. “Certainly there is some role for the federal government in health insurance, but we believe the approach taken by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi that seems geared toward a public option is not the path that most Iowans want to go,” Strawn says.

Strawn also says just saying no also isn’t an option, and they need to make sure the 270-thousand Iowans without insurance have options at the state level. Strawn is traveling around the state today with Senator David Johnson, of Ocheyedan and State Representative Linda Upmeyer of Garner.