Kim Reynolds on Health Care
I continue to call on Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But we can't wait for Congress to fix it.
Almost two years ago, we modernized our Medicaid system to an individualized, patient-centered approach that was already in place in 39 other states. It was a change that needed to be made.
I still believe managed care is the right decision for Iowa, but it has become very clear that mistakes were made in how it was done. With our new team in place, we are continuing to work with our Managed Care-Organizations to ensure Iowans are getting the best possible outcomes. And we are reaching patients in new and innovative ways to individualize their care.
150,000 more Iowans have mental health coverage today and have access to more local and modern services. We've invested $2 billion in mental health services. And in 2016 we invested $4 million in a new psychiatric medical residency program to recruit and retain more psychiatrists.
But we must do more, and I know we can. I look forward to an exciting new initiative, where every new doctor will receive the training and skills to identify and treat a patient with a mental health challenge. I have included money in my budget for this innovative program. It will be the first-of-its-kind.
First, Congress and the new Administration must repeal ObamaCare, because it is unaffordable, unworkable, and unsustainable. We must then replace it with health care reform that is affordable for Iowans, empowers the consumer to have high quality health care, and provides states the flexibility they need to afford and sustain their Medicaid programs.
In 2017, Iowans purchasing an ObamaCare health plan saw their premiums increase 43%. Early reports indicate some premiums in 2018 are expected to more than double. Health care reform must use market-driven strategies to give consumers affordable health care choices year after year. Although ObamaCare improved access in the short term it threatens access in the long-term due to its faulty design causing unaffordable costs for patients.