Every Iowan, Every Iowa Community
Iowa is a collection of dynamic and diverse communities, but too often economic opportunities, access to health care, and critical quality of life services are limited to only certain parts of the state. That disparity has only grown in recent years as rural Iowans, small businesses, and small farmers have been overlooked or forgotten altogether. In the process, our economy has suffered and wage growth has declined. Simply put, Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds’ approach has failed. We need a new direction with a new governor that represents and fights for all Iowans, prioritizes people over corporations, and results over ideology.
I am running to be a governor for every Iowan and every Iowa community.
My plan will help our state achieve excellence in education, grow Iowa’s wages, provide greater access to high-quality, affordable health care, and help the state succeed in an increasingly complex economic environment. But more than anything else, my commitment is to work hard for all of Iowa – rural, small towns and larger communities. We must stop leaving too many Iowans behind.
Health Care: Expanding Access and Delivering High-Quality, Local Services
Iowa families are struggling with dramatic increases in health care premiums and services that are less accessible with each passing year. The debate in Washington D.C. threatens to make these challenges even greater particularly for rural communities where longstanding health care providers are under significant financial strain. Here in Iowa, Governor Reynolds fails to even acknowledge her role in limiting health care for hundreds of thousands of our neighbors. The result is more uncertainty for Iowa families, more preventable health care emergencies, and more money out of the pockets of hard working Iowans.
Here is where we start:
- End the tragic decision Governor Reynolds’ chose with her mentor to stay the course to privatize the state’s Medicaid program that has cut services for patients, forced providers to close their doors, and wasted state tax dollars.
- By taking the step of ending Medicaid privatization, we can start providing more and better health care options as we allow Iowans the opportunity to buy into Medicaid.
- Provide the funding and training necessary to expand community based services across all Iowa communities. By having more mental health care professionals at the local level, we will be able to address health care challenges before they reach a crisis point.
- Invest in the rural hospitals that provide critical services in smaller communities but too often face the brunt of budget cuts.
- Ensure we are delivering the essential services and oversight that protect and support older Iowans.
Education: Creating Opportunities and Growing Iowa’s Economy
Increasing wages, particularly in rural communities, starts with investing in our schools. Iowa cannot expect to be competitive and maintain a skilled workforce if we ask our Pre-K-12 classrooms to find cuts year-after-year, slash funding for community colleges, and continue to demand higher tuition rates for students attending our colleges and universities. The current approach is unsustainable and long-term will place Iowa’s workforce at a disadvantage compared to other states in the Midwest and across the country. By continuing down this path, more companies will leave Iowa and fewer will choose to locate here regardless of the tax incentives we offer.
Here is where we start:
- Expand early learning programs that are so critical to the development of our young people. With nearly half of our students coming from homes in poverty or very low income we must include life skills and resiliency training with the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty for too many Iowa families.
- Prioritize Pre-K-12 education funding so that Iowa students have access to the materials, technologies, resources, and programs to drive academic growth and spur the creativity of our young people.
- Create new Iowa education grant to provide assistance to any Iowan who decides to pursue a degree in a high-demand field at one of our regent’s institutions, community or private colleges. This approach will improve our state’s workforce and encourage businesses to locate here in Iowa.
- Treat our teachers and public employees like the professionals they are and allow them to negotiate their salary, benefits, and other elements of their employment.