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​​Background:  All Iowans deserve access to quality affordable healthcare and mental health services. Unfortunately, quality care is out of reach for too many in Iowa, who can’t afford to see a doctor when they need to; especially in our rural communities. The COVID-19 Pandemic has unveiled the inadequacies in Iowa’s healthcare systems; now more than ever we must ensure our healthcare system meets the needs of Iowans today and improves the future of health and wellness for every Iowan and healthcare practitioner.


Our state is currently ranked 44th in the nation for mental health workforce availability; a ranking which has worsened over the last 20 years. By July of 2021, we should have had 6 Mental Health Access Centers in the state, we only have two (Linn and Johnson Counties). We have less than 750 mental health beds in the state for a population of over 3 million people. Iowa is in a mental healthcare crisis, we must address this problem by expanding mental healthcare funding, increasing the number of practitioners in the state, increasing resources, as well as addressing the root causes of this issue such as housing insecurity, ensuring a livable wage, and creating real childcare solutions.  


It’s time to restructure the reimbursements we are seeing for dental care, physical healthcare, and mental healthcare– so that our practitioners can afford to give the quality care Iowans need.


Deidre on the issues

  • Increase access to affordable healthcare for both insured and uninsured Iowans.

  • Restore rural healthcare access and support healthcare workers in those areas to retain the talent needed to service our communities and increase broadband speed to expand tele-health services.

  • Increase the reimbursement rate for both healthcare and mental healthcare services in our state.

  • Expand coverage of preventive care to include vision, dental, and hearing.

  • Address the cost of Insulin and prescription drug prices for all Iowans.

  • Establish an adequate and sustainable funding system for adult and children’s mental health services statewide and expand mental health services, facilities, and beds.

  • Attract and retain more mental health care workers to alleviate the stain on our health system and public safety officials.

  • Ensure mental healthcare worker pay and benefits are competitive within the region, expanding access to loan forgiveness programs, and recruiting bilingual and diverse talent to the social work profession to better serve Iowa’s growing needs.

  • Ensuring adequate funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) to provide crisis and wrap-around services and a full implementation of the 988 program.

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