Democratic gubernatorial candidate Patty Judge says if elected, she’d act to ensure the 57-thousand Iowa children who do not have health insurance today get covered by a state-paid plan. Judge also wants the state to cover the cost of regular doctor visits for poor pregnant women — before and after their babies are born.
“This plan that we have released today is one step in a comprehensive health plan and this is addressing the issue of health care access for Iowans,” Judge says. Judge would also let more Iowa parents pay a small premium and qualify for government-paid health insurance — the folks who are living on the margins but make just too much to qualify for full government health care coverage.
Michael Blouin, one of Judge’s competitors for the Democratic party’s nomination for governor, has already proposed some of same things for poor women and children in Iowa, but while Blouin didn’t put a dollar figure on his proposals, Judge does: 80 million dollars. “While that sounds like a lot of money in a state budget of 5 billion dollars, it’s really just over one percent and surely is findable and doable if we really believe health care is important,” Judge says.
Late last year, Judge proposed that the state provide tax credits to small businesses that provide health care coverage to employees. Judge, who worked as a nurse for nearly 20 years, says is saves money on insurance premiums when you get people regular care rather than forcing them to wait ’til they get really sick.
Judge says when people get regular medical attention, they are healthier and there’s “off-set savings” to the state that would otherwise go into emergency room care.