Rural Iowa's launching pad for growth: Medicare for All

Glenn Hurst is a family physician in southwest Iowa and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

Several years ago, a man called my clinic seeking an appointment. He did not have insurance, and in fact had not seen a physician since childhood. But on this day, he was desperate. He had felt a popping sensation in his abdomen and thought he might have a hernia. If that was true, he needed surgery, and we were the gateway to that service. We agreed to see him and to work out a payment plan later.

When I entered the exam room, it was clear something was wrong. Here was a man in his late 50s who did not look well. His skin had a bronze-yellow tint, his cheeks were sunken in, and his belly protruded. He was weak and disheveled. He repeated his story about the popping sensation and told me he could feel something protruding.

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Reform the U.S. Senate

Glenn Hurst is a family physician in southwest Iowa and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

This week, Iowans received a wake-up call regarding how important it is that their candidate stands firmly on Democratic principles and at the very least supports President Joe Biden’s agenda. The demise of the Build Back Better bill, due to partisanship on the Republican side and a personal agenda of one Democrat, will leave many Iowans struggling without healthcare, without jobs, and without the ability to improve their own lives.

The nation cannot afford another Joe Manchin in the U.S. Senate.

It is sad to see how far this legislation could have moved the country and to watch it fail. This bill would have moved us in the direction that Iowa Democrats have been clamoring for. A direction that we have wanted to move toward but one that our candidates have been shy about supporting.

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EMILY's List to play in Iowa; won't commit to positive Senate race

One of the leading Democratic-aligned political action committees endorsed three Iowa candidates this week. EMILY’s List, which backs pro-choice Democratic women seeking federal, state, or local offices, endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer on December 15 and U.S. House candidates Christina Bohannan and Liz Mathis in the new first and second Congressional districts on December 16.

The PAC endorsed U.S. Representative Cindy Axne for re-election in the third district in March.

This week’s announcements were no surprise, since EMILY’s List supported Axne and Finkenauer in their 2018 and 2020 U.S. House campaigns, and said in April that Senator Chuck Grassley was one of three Republicans the group planned to target in 2022 Senate races.

Backing from EMILY’s List helps candidates raise money through the organization’s large network of donors. Perhaps more important, it indicates the group is prepared to pay for advertising on behalf of endorsed candidates or against their opponents.

The big question is whether EMILY’s List will keep its messages positive before the June 2022 Senate primary, or also target Democratic rivals. I couldn’t get an answer from the group yesterday.

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Abortion justice is health care justice

Glenn Hurst is a family physician in southwest Iowa and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

In my very first days of private practice, I met a patient with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She was young, in her 30s. She and her husband had two children under the age of 5 and were doing the same struggling most young middle-class Americans do at that point in life. They worried about bills, insurance, saving for big purchases. They were not likely thinking about retirement, and they had no plans for a medical emergency. Now their family was faced with a medical crisis that no one could have predicted.

I could tell her hands were full as her husband tried to wrangle the kids who were up and down the walls of the exam room as she explained her situation to me.

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"Admiral on the bridge!"

Ira Lacher: Mike Franken has deliberately avoided labeling himself a “centrist” or “moderate.” But Saturday, there was no doubt where he stood.

On December 11, I attended a meet-and-greet, intending to be introduced to retired Vice Admiral Michael Franken, one of the Democrats running against Senator Chuck Grassley. Instead, I was introduced to Jean-Luc Picard.

It’s not hard to imagine Franken — a 64-year-old rural Sioux County native, who emerged from a working-class family of nine kids in a landlocked state to attain the rank of three-star admiral without attending the Naval Academy — on the bridge of the starship USS Enterprise.

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Dave Muhlbauer ends Senate campaign after family tragedy

Dave Muhlbauer announced on November 23 that he is ending his U.S. Senate campaign to take more time to grieve with his family. Douglas Burns reported for the Carroll Times Herald that Muhlbauer’s 4-year-old nephew Jed Riesselman died in a farm accident on August 12.

In a statement posted on his social media feeds, Muhlbauer said the loss of his nephew “has had a devastating effect on our family. It’s something you can never prepare yourself for and will leave a hole that will never be filled.”

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