Today marks the start of “Cover the Un-Insured Week” in Iowa. It’s part of a national event to bring attention to the more than 41-million Americans who lack health insurance, and local spokeswoman Sarah Leonard calls it “unprecedented.”She says this is the largest effort of its kind, she says, a nonpartisan educational project on behalf of the uninsured. Events include a Town Hall meeting, campus talks with the next generation who’ll become healthcare providers, a health fair with free services and screenings for the uninsured, a business-and-labor roundtable Thursday and through the weekend, inter-faith events. Leonard says the problems of the uninsured touch many areas of the community. Leonard says when the poor don’t have health coverage, we all pay, as seen in the healthcare facilities. She says Iowa hospitals last year provided 281-million dollars worth of uncompensated care to uninsured patients, a big impact on the healthcare industry. And Leonard says 87-percent of Iowans get their health insurance through their employer. So, she says, employers are key to the insurance situation and when the cost goes up and businesses can’t provide insurance to their workers, it’s a big impact and it’s the point where the labor community comes into the picture. Today’s town hall meeting at Hotel Fort Des Moines will include a proclamation by the governor’s office and Des Moines mayor Preston Daniels. A panel of health industry experts will field questions from the audience, who’ll also hear testimony from un-insured families.
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