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AARP praises legislature for health care advances
The 2010 General Assembly made “great steps” to improve health care in Iowa, specifically by passing three bills to improve different components of the system, AARP Iowa said Tuesday.
The organization was also pleased that Iowa’s Health and Human Services budget protected funding for identified unmet home and community needs of older Iowans by not making cuts to Iowa’s Senior Living Program.
“In this tough economic climate, AARP applauds this General Assembly for not putting tough budget decisions on the backs of funding for vulnerable older Iowans,” said Bruce Koeppl, AARP Iowa state director.
The three bills the group pointed to as “great steps” were:
- SF 2201 -With Democratic state Rep. Janet Peterson’s amendment H 8578 added to this bill, Iowans can expect more sunshine into the process by which health insurance companies raise premiums for individuals and small groups in Iowa.
- SF 2356 – Regionalizes IowaCare – Iowa’s system for providing care for low income and under-insured Iowans, so that for the first time, IowaCare patients won’t have to travel hundreds of miles to Iowa City to receive care. The bill also creates an Iowa Insurance Information Exchange to help Iowans make informed choices regarding health coverage. The bill also emphasizes improving coordination in caring for diabetics in Iowa.
- SF 2526 -Begins to address Iowa’s impending nurse shortage by centralizing nurse workforce data and creating scholarship programs and other incentives for nurses to become nurse educators.
The group was not without disappointment, though. The failure to pass legislation that would have would have required propane companies and other home heating fuel delivery vendors to deliver propane to customers who have the money to pay for that fuel and the last minute introduction and passage of SF 2388, the hospital “provider tax,” were low points of the session, the group said.