The Feed

Iowans Agree: Mental Health Should Top State Priorities

More than ever, Iowans are ready to see improvements to the state’s mental health system – and they are also willing to help pay for it. In its latest Iowa Poll, the Des Moines Register reports that nearly three out of four Iowans agree that the state’s mental health care system is in crisis or, at a minimum, “a big problem.” By a significant margin, the poll shows Iowans view mental health as the state’s biggest problem, even more than water quality, public education or rising tuition costs at state universities.

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Mental Health Petition: It’s Time for Action in Iowa

Mental health treatment in our state languishes on the edges of the care continuum. It is a fragmented, frustrating – and sometimes deadly – non-system that leaves struggling Iowans stigmatized, marginalized and criminalized. We are failing. But even in this crisis, there are reasons for hope. Iowans have never been more aware and supportive of mental health.

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Help Iowa Become a Leader in Achieving Better Health

The numbers are startling. Since 1988, the obesity rate in Iowa has increased from 14 percent to 32 percent. Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health reports by the time today’s kids are 35, half will be obese. Obesity continues to be one of the costliest conditions among health insured consumers in Iowa. The US is experiencing an unsustainable disease burden; more than 133 million Americans, or 45 percent of the population, have at least one chronic condition.

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Having This Faith Has Created a Better, Safer Sioux City

Alan Faith wears many hats, or in the eyes of community members, patients and children, Alan wears many heroic capes. As a longtime nurse and trauma program manager in the emergency department at UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s in Sioux City, he sees a lot of patients that need critical care. This has inspired his passion for trauma and injury prevention. Alan is a visionary. His proactive, “let’s prevent it if we can” approach has inspired many to think differently about what it means to truly provide care for the community.

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Medicaid Work Requirements Won’t Work and Are Likely Illegal

Work requirements appear to be a more subtle attempt to reduce the number of non-disabled adults added to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which survived multiple attempts last year by Congress to repeal and replace it. But a work requirement for Medicaid isn’t necessary and won’t work. Not when nearly 80 percent of adults on Medicaid already live in working families and about 60 percent work themselves.

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For Some States, Kids’ Insurance Fund Runs Out Next Week

Some states are facing a mid-January loss of funding for their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) despite spending approved by Congress in late December that was expected to keep the program running for three months, federal health officials said late last week. The $2.85 billion was supposed to fund states’ CHIP programs through March 31. But some states will start running out of money after January 19.

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Left on Hold for the Holidays, CHIP Families and States Still Waiting

With bipartisan agreement on a strong, five-year funding extension and promises throughout the year that a CHIP extension would get done before January, states and families were counting on Congress to do its job. But Congress again punted action on CHIP with a short-term funding patch. This is an unprecedented abdication of responsibility for this important and successful program and creates a shameful burden for vulnerable families who spent the holidays worrying about health care for their children.

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Now in Canada, Longtime Iowa Doctor Reports Back

For Peter Cram, an American internist who spent most of his career practicing in Iowa City, moving to Toronto in 2014 was an easy decision. He says he is among a handful of American doctors who went north to practice in Canada’s single-payer system. Now he doesn’t worry about whether his patients can afford treatment. “Everyone gets a basic level of care,” he says, which lets him focus on their medical needs instead of their finances.

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Tax Bill is Really a Very Destructive Health Care Bill

The US House and Senate have each passed a tax bill and convened a conference committee to decide on a single bill that can pass each chamber. While many details need to be hammered out, it’s clear that the legislation is on track to undermine health coverage for millions and set the stage for massive cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

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