Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says she’ll do a full review of the health care bill that passed the U.S. House today.
“We will take a thorough look at whatever comes to us and whatever that package may look like. Again, stressing the fact that we need to take a look at it and make sure it is the right way to move,” Ernst says. The Republican from Red Oak says it’s an issue that impacts many Iowans.
“What I am seeing occurring in Iowa right now with many of our insurance companies deciding that they won’t provide individual policies, that is concerning to me,” Ernst says, “and knowing that we could very shortly have many families that have absolutely no options.” Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Aetna are planning to stop providing individual policies through the state’s insurance exchange in 2018. The remaining provider, Medica, is considering withdrawing, as well. Ernst says Iowa is an example of why there needs to be a change.
“We know we need to have to address it. And that means addressing it sooner rather than later,” according to Ernst. “But again, we can’t just rush something through. We do have to move in a thoughtful many and make sure that it is the right way forward.” President Donald Trump signed an executive order on “religious liberty” today (Thursday). Ernst says she hasn’t had time to fully review it.
“That text was not released to use ahead of time, so I do need to go through it,” Ernst says. “But I do know he is very intent on protecting those religious liberties. So, I’ll have to review the text, but I know where he stands on that issue. He has been very clear about that throughout his campaign, and I applaud him for taking a look at that issue.” Iowa three Republican Congressman voted for the House bill, while Democrat Dave Loebsack voted against it.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, made note of Iowa as he spoke in the U.S. House today in favor of passing the health care bill.
“Look at what has happened in Iowa this week. As is the case in so many areas in this country — Iowa is down to one insurer,” Ryan says. “That of course is not a choice. But now that one insurer is saying that it will have to pull out of 94 of 99 counties in Iowa.” Ryan says the current system isn’t working.
“Tens of thousands of Iowans will go from having one option to having no options. That is not a choice, that is a crisis,” Ryan says. The bill passed the House 217-213