"Working to provide health care to rural communities has been a significant share of my life's work including recruiting physicians to our rural areas," notes Tim. "No one should have to drive 25 miles to see a doctor or get to a hospital. We have a large elderly population that needs access to health care. And we need to do a better job of providing mental health care to all Iowans."
Healthcare in Iowa is a mess. The Medicaid privatization experiment is a complete failure. There are no demonstrable savings, many have lost coverage altogether and many who have retained coverage have had their services reduced. Healthcare providers are not being paid, often for years. And most importantly, lives have been lost as a result of the reckless, ruthless and heartless decisions made by for profit insurance carriers. We must return control of this critical program to the state, and improve the management process. I have a plan to do that.
Second, the cost of comprehensive health insurance coverage in this state is outrageous for a variety of reasons. Rather than tackle the underlying causes and provide a real fix, the legislature has been intent on foisting on unsuspecting Iowans the #junkplans that drove so many into medical bankruptcy prior to the Affordable Care Act. That is not solution. Instead, we need to establish a process in the Iowa Legislature to examine real options that provide ALL Iowans with reasonably priced, comprehensive health insurance coverage. Other states are doing exactly that, and I will fight to provide real solutions for Iowa every single day.
It’s time to make Iowa’s public schools #1 again. First and foremost, that means adequately funding our public school systems. It also means restoring funding to our community and technical schools and our university systems. And we must restore collective bargaining rights to our teachers and the professionals who show up for our children in Iowa classrooms every day.
Let’s help young families send their kids to safe, quality childcare settings they can afford. We need to invest in rather than cut apprenticeship and job-training programs that help Iowans get ahead. Quality education is an investment that helps our rural communities grow and prosper. Let’s make high-speed internet accessible to all Iowans so they can connect to each other and to the world. Our children and grandchildren will not be ready to compete in today's job market if they haven't had ready access to the internet throughout their school years. We must provide them with the tools that will allow them to compete.
Rural Iowa has suffered from a lack of economic development in recent years because politicians in Des Moines have been putting corporations' interests over everyday Iowans' economic security. We need to encourage companies to settle in rural Iowa to create good, sustainable jobs for future generations. I will spend my time at the State House helping Main Street in Iowa rather than giving tax breaks to Wall Street corporations.
We want our children to have an Iowa where they can live and thrive. That means working together with farmers to ensure clean water and an environment that will make future generations want to stay in our great state to work and raise their families. We also should be investing in sustainable energy solutions using Iowa's natural resources like ethanol, wind, and solar power.
Our roads and bridges are crumbling, especially in rural Iowa. We must invest in quality infrastructure. Our small towns need quality roads, bridges, locks, dams, broadband and electric grids. Improving our infrastructure supports local job creation and makes our rural communities attractive to new businesses moving into the state. It's up to us!