IA-02: Christopher Peters set to run against Dave Loebsack again

Dr. Christopher Peters announced today that he will visit all 24 counties in Iowa’s second Congressional district next week “to speak with Iowans about his plans for the 2018 election.” Since I’ve never heard of someone holding more than two dozen events to publicize a decision not to run for office, it’s a safe bet the Coralville surgeon will be launching his second attempt to defeat Democratic Representative Dave Loebsack.

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New GOP health care bill even worse for people with pre-existing conditions

Public policy experts, health care advocacy groups, and insurance industry representatives often don’t agree on how the government should regulate the sector that accounts for roughly one-sixth of our economy. But all have reached the same conclusion about the bill that may come to a vote in the U.S. Senate next week: the latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would cause Americans with chronic or expensive medical conditions to pay much higher rates or lose insurance coverage entirely.

Iowa’s Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have repeatedly said people with pre-existing conditions would be protected in any Republican bill to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Now, they are poised to break that promise.

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What no one is talking about in the "repeal and replace" debate

An Iowan with in-depth knowledge of the health care sector looks at lesser-known benefits that could be lost if Congress replaces the Affordable Care Act. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The debate on Republican efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care reform law has focused on the provision of health care and the repeal of some taxes. In particular, attention has been directed at the effort to reduce Medicaid coverage.

What isn’t being discussed: the Affordable Care Act (ACA) included many provisions aimed at addressing serious issues in the health care system, such as quality, safety, and workforce shortages. None of those can be found in the House-approved American Health Care Act (AHCA) or the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), proposed by Senate Republican leaders.

So, in addition to reducing (or eliminating) coverage for poor people and individuals with illnesses, the Republican bill would be a step backward in terms of efforts to improve the health care system, which accounts for 17 percent of our gross domestic product.

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Senate bill would break health care promises from Grassley and Ernst

Iowa’s Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst say they are “continuing to carefully look through the revised health care discussion draft” released by Senate Republican leaders last week. Iowans who have called the senators’ offices are likewise hearing from staffers that Grassley and Ernst have not decided whether to support the GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

I suspect Iowa’s senators would rubber-stamp any GOP “health care” bill Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brings to the floor, for several reasons:

• None of the Washington-based reporters on this beat include Grassley or Ernst on their lists of Republican senators who may not support the bill.

• Reports speculating about special deals GOP Senate leaders may offer to lock down votes don’t refer to any additional spending geared toward Iowa.

• Neither Grassley nor Ernst made time to meet with Iowa hospital leaders who lobbied against the bill on a trip to Washington last week.

• Neither Grassley nor Ernst has bucked the party line on any important Senate vote that I can recall.

For now, let’s take Iowa’s senators at their word: they are still undecided and seeking input from constituents. If Grassley and Ernst intend to keep promises they’ve been making on health care policy, they need not spend any more time deliberating. They have ample reasons to vote against the Orwellian-named Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

Non-partisan analysis indicates that if this bill becomes law, tens of millions of Americans–including hundreds of thousands of Iowans–will have worse health insurance coverage or no coverage at all.

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