Iowans want patient-centered health care, not politics

  • Matt Sinovic is the executive director of Progress Iowa, a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization.

No matter where we live or the color of our skin, we all deserve to get the care we need without breaking the bank. Fortunately, President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats have delivered on their promise to cut costs and improve health care for American families. In addition to making key climate and energy investments, the Cutting Inflation Act of 2022 lowers prescription drug prices by giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, institutes a cap drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries and protects Americans from outrageous and arbitrary price increases. The legislation also includes measures that will reduce health care premiums for millions of people by extending Affordable Care Act financial assistance for three years.

This bill demonstrates Democrats’ unwavering commitment to ensuring health care is affordable, accessible, and equitable for every American. While Biden and the Democrats fight tooth and nail to lower health care costs for people like me and other Iowans, Republicans like Senator Chuck Grassley continue their attacks on health care, putting their own political interests ahead of the health and financial well-being of their own constituents.

Every Republican in Congress has opposed the Cut Inflation Act of 2022. By voting against the bill, Republicans voted to raise health care costs for working families and keep Big Pharma’s broken system going. Worse, Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst helped block a critical provision that would cap insulin costs at $35 per month for millions of insured diabetics. Up to a quarter of the 7.5 million insulin-dependent Americans skip or skimp on doses, which can lead to death. While voters across the political spectrum have demanded action to rein in drug prices, Republicans have opposed any meaningful reform.

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Instead of offering solutions to curb inflation or reduce people’s cost of living, Republicans have presented a sweeping business plan that would raise costs, threaten Medicare coverage for millions of people and tear protections for people with existing illnesses. Republicans are still fighting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make premiums more expensive for middle-class families.

The Republican war on health care doesn’t end there — Republicans have worked to undermine access to care for women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Republicans, especially those aligned with former President Donald Trump, have attacked abortion rights and opposed legislation to end the maternal death crisis. They voted against capping drug costs and extending hearing benefits to the elderly. Republicans in Congress also continue to fight to close the coverage gap in 12 states that rejected Medicaid expansion, leaving more than 2 million vulnerable Americans without insurance. Failure to support these policies disproportionately harms people of color, who face increased barriers to accessing care and poorer health outcomes.

By fighting efforts to cut health care costs, Republicans are turning their backs on the American people. It’s no surprise that Biden’s health care proposals have received broad support from voters of all political persuasions. However, if it were up to Republicans, health care costs would skyrocket, the rich would get richer, and millions of Americans would lose coverage and have nowhere to go.

The contrast is clear: Between fighting to lower health care costs and extending affordable coverage to working families in Iowa, Democrats are working tirelessly to reduce day-to-day costs for all Americans. Meanwhile, Republicans unanimously oppose legislation aimed at lowering health care costs, expanding affordable coverage and giving families more leeway to pay for other essentials like food, child care and rent.

Some things never change: Republicans want to raise health care costs, ditch essential protections, and put profits before patients.

Matt Sinovic is the executive director of Progress Iowa, a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization. Throughout the year, Progress Iowa promotes progressive ideas and causes through creative media strategies, targeted email campaigns, and cutting-edge new media.

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