Democratic legislators say they’ve come up with a plan that would see the state help low income Iowa adults who don’t qualify for government-paid Medicaid and who can’t afford private insurance get “primary care” from a clinic closer to their home. Dr. Dave Carlisle, a physician in Ames, is chairman of the 11-member Health Care Coverage Commission the legislature assembled.
“I think we’re taking one more step to what I hope will be every Iowan have the peace of mind that they have access to good health care coverage in future,” Carlisle says. Democratic legislators say soon they’ll consider a bill that would designate more clinics around the state where many uninsured, low income Iowans could go to get care. Under current rules, those folks must travel to the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City or Broadlawns, the public hospital in Des Moines, to receive subsidized care. Dr. Carlisle says that’s a good start.
“Iowa physicians are kind of like professional football players. We get to be paid for things we love to do,” Carlisle says, “Unfortunately in Iowa there (are) 250,00 Iowans who…cannot come into most of our clinics because they don’t have health care coverage.”
The top Democrat in the legislature says this new round of state-level health care reform is “exciting,” but the ultimate goal of expanding health care coverage to all uninsured adults won’t be reached without a significant infusion of federal money.