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.Learn More
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.
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.Learn More
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.Learn More
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.Learn More
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.Learn More