About a dozen people gathered in downtown Des Moines over the noon hour Tuesday to rail against health insurance companies that they blame for unaffordable healthcare costs. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, director of the advocacy group Iowa for Health Care, says profits at the companies have increased by more than 170 percent since 2003, while health insurance premiums have skyrocketed.
“It’s really hard for folks to make ends meet right now. When they’re working their whole life, they shouldn’t get sick and lose everything,” Running-Marquardt said. “So we want people to look at both presidential health-care plans and pick a presidential candidate who’s going to develop an American solution and have quality affordable health care for all.”
Running-Marquardt blames high insurance costs on excessive CEO salaries. “Some of them have CEOs who are making 23, 25, 13-million dollars a year while people are being priced out and they can’t afford it,” Running-Marquardt said. Running-Marquardt ran off a list of things she wants included in a national healthcare policy.
“What we need is quality healthcare for everyone with a choice of doctors’ plans without gaps in access and coverage, we want preventative care as part of any basic plan that promotes health and eliminates any racial or ethnic disparities, and we want controlled costs by providing care that is cost efficient and medically effective,” Running-Marquardt said. Iowa for Health Care was started six years ago by a group of nurses and now claims that 32-thousand Iowans have signed on to its cause.