Local Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on Iowans’ Health Care

State Rep. Bruce Hunter speaks in Des Moines, Iowa.

DES MOINES, IOWA- This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Des Moines to call attention to the ongoing Republican war on health care care. Hosted by Raygun and headlined by State Rep. Bruce Hunter and cancer survivor Laura Packard, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm Iowans’ care and called on the GOP to work instead to protect our care.

“I’m not sure what exactly David Young is working for. You may think he’s working for his big donors but this is an issue to large corporations, too,” said Mike Draper, owner of Raygun. “I would like to see not only the ACA stay in place, but be improved upon, and improved upon thoughtfully,”

Draper was echoed by State Rep. Bruce Hunter.

“Tell our elected officials that we want health care that actually works for Iowa and the rest of the country,” said Rep. Hunter, who spoke of Iowa Republicans’ privatization of Medicaid and the harm it has brought to Iowans. “It’s estimated that over 40,000 people in the state of Iowa alone have had their benefits drastically cut… To say that it is a disaster is not hyperbole.”

The stakes of the event were made clear by Packard.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

Rep. Hunter, Draper, and Packard were joined by Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa, who spoke of the need to maintain the protections that 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions depend on, and Sue Dinsdale, Executive Director of Iowa Citizen Action Network, who called on Republicans to listen to their constituents, noting that health care is not a blue issue or a red issue but a personal one.

At today’s event, Des Moines residents, health care advocates, elected officials, and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for Iowans. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • Iowans will see their premiums rise by an average of 5.6 percent next year. It’s expected that 40 year old Iowans will face an extra $1,450 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of Republican sabotage of the health care market.
  • In Iowa, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $12,671 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
  • Iowa expanded Medicaid under the ACA and the nearly 150,000 Iowans who have gained coverage because of this program would find their care at risk if the law were repealed.
  • Junk insurance plans that charge money for skimpy coverage could return to Iowa and 71,000 Iowans could lack comprehensive coverage in 2019 because they will either become uninsured or will be enrolled in junk plans that don’t provide key health benefits.
  • 46,000 Iowans who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections for 1.3 million Iowans, including 343,000 in IA-03, living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy/
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
  • Dozens of hospitals in rural areas have closed, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Representative David Young voted for and passed a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing condition; voted for a budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone; voted for a tax scam that doubled as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

Later today, “Care Force One” will head to Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.