McCoy and Forbes file bill for public health care option

­Iowa Legislature News Release
Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Des Moines, Iowa – State Senator Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, and State Representative John Forbes, D-Urbandale, filed a bill today that will make health care more accessible and affordable for Iowans.  Called the Healthy Iowans for a Public Option (HIPO), the new plan would give the 72,000 Iowans on the individual market another health insurance option.

“Thousands of Iowans are facing a health care crisis right now because of Medicaid privatization and uncertainty in the health insurance market. It’s time for the Legislature to work together and make sure that all Iowans have access to affordable health care.  Our plan will give the 72,000 Iowans in the individual market another option while repealing the GOP’s disastrous Medicaid privatization,” said Sen. McCoy.

The HIPO plan would first roll back Iowa’s Medicaid privatization and then create a new public health insurance option for Iowans to purchase on the individual marketplace. Iowans who currently receive financial assistance on the marketplace would still be eligible to receive it.

“Iowans deserve solutions to the health care crisis they face, not excuses and blame from politicians who won’t take action. We know the high cost of health care is draining family incomes and threatening the retirement security of too many Iowans.  Since politicians in DC keep making our health care system worse, it’s time for Gov. Reynolds and Republican lawmakers to work with us and make health care both accessible and affordable,” said Rep. Forbes.

President Trump is expected to sign a bill later this month that will leave millions of Americans without health insurance and add more uncertainty to Iowa’s health care marketplace. Next year, just one option will be available on Iowa’s health insurance Marketplace.  Medica is proposing raising premiums 57% compared to its current rates, making this option unaffordable for thousands of Iowans.