February 23, 2017
Lots of ice in Des Moines this week! Sure hope everyone stayed safe at home, because people were falling left and right here. Luckily I stayed upright, even with Lucy Lou pulling me like a sled dog when it was time to go out. She’s a keeper!
Well, we didn’t have any committee action this week and went right into debate mode. We knocked out 36 bills with around 30 of them unanimous. Six of the bills I had been assigned are done and five were unanimous. People think we disagree all the time, but that is not the case if you do the appropriate amount of prep work.
Because of the health benefits crisis for individuals who are not subsidized, we’re trying to be innovative and find ways to get help for people who are paying $30,000 – $50,000 a year for insurance for one or two people. We have two bills in the House that could help in this situation and each one impacting different groups of people and giving choices, which nobody has now.
The first we voted out of the House yesterday, HF2351. HF2351 is not insurance, but allows a health care provider to enter into a direct primary care agreement with a patient and family to give preventative and curative health care. Just as an example, for a monthly fee, you could visit your doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner as many times as you need to in a month. That’s just an example, we’ve set out some parameters, but basically it could be set up in any way you and your doctor believe works for you.
The second, HF2364, is not insurance either, but does help you pay for health costs. Farm Bureau’s members are directly impacted by the problems in the individual market. They came to us with an idea that is good for their members. Health Benefit Plans. These will operate similar to their health insurance prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with members being subject to underwriting for eligibility, all benefits renewing annually without re-underwriting if continuous coverage and all benefits meeting state mandates.
Also, I don’t know if you saw that I had decided to retire from the Legislature. My deciding moment was at my youngest son’s wedding on February 10, when my granddaughter who is 8 years old that I’ve seen less than three months of her life, held my hand throughout the wedding and kept raising my hand and kissing the top of it. What was I thinking giving that up? I don’t want to lose any more time with that little girl.
So, thank you for your trust and being who you are. For 14 years, you’ve made me strive to be the best representative you’ve ever had. I probably didn’t make that, but I’m sure a better person for trying.
I love you. If you have any questions or concerns, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 515-281-7487. I’m here for you.