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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

1 in 9 Iowans uninsured, Census data shows

By Matt Vasilogambros | 09.17.10 | 9:30 am

Census data released Thursday shows 1 in 9 Iowans were without health care insurance in 2008-09. Analysts with the nonpartisan Iowa Fiscal Partnership (IFP) credit the loss in coverage to the erosion of employer-sponsored insurance.

In the years leading up to the passage of federal health care reform legislation in March, about 310,000 non-elderly Iowans were uninsured — adding up to about 11.8 percent of Iowa’s population. There were about 51 million uninsured people in the United States.

“Although Iowa has made important strides in covering children, the overall loss of health coverage is a serious problem,” said Noga O’Connor, research associate for the Iowa Policy Project, which along with the Child and Family Policy Center makes up IFP.

More specifically, employer-sponsored coverage dropped to 68.6 percent for 2008-09, from 70.9 percent in 2006-07. The number of uninsured children remained low for Iowa, however, maintaining at 5.6 percent. The IFP said Medicaid and the state-wide Hawk-i program softened the blow for children. Medicaid coverage for non-elderly Iowans rose to 14 percent.

“The rise in the uninsurance rates for Iowans highlights the importance of the new health reform law,” O’Connor said. “The new law will enable many uninsured Iowans to receive coverage through Medicaid and through the new health insurance exchanges.”

The data released Thursday accompanies other Census data that shows the poverty rate is at the highest level in the last 50 years. In fact, data shows that 1 in 7 Americans lived in poverty during that time — a trend that Iowa was not immune to. The official poverty threshold for 2009 for a family of four was $21,954.

Iowa saw a .5 percentage point increase from 2006-07 in the poverty rate to 10.1 percent. Median household income also dropped one percentage point from $50,896 in 2006-07 to $50,337 in 2008-09. IFP indicated that more complete poverty data for Iowa would be released by Sept. 28.

Members of the IFP wanted to be clear on the fact that neither the jobs gained nor benefits earned through the federal stimulus were accounted in this new data, as the legislation was passed after the information was collected. Mike Crawford, senior associate at CFPC and director of its Kids Count project, said the poverty rates would be substantially higher if it were not for the recovery legislation passed in the last two years.

“We can say that without the Recovery Act, poverty would be even worse. Unfortunately, we may be able to see in the future just how much worse, because several key aspects of the Act are scheduled to expire,” Crawford said. “In other words, we can expect poverty to rise even higher if Congress does not act.”

Crawford further noted that certain provisions in the Recovery Act that are expiring soon will affect Iowans, including extra weeks of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed and expanded Child Tax Credit for working families.

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