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Iowa went from having the potential “gold standard” for medical freedom and privacy to having crumbs. And, those crumbs are coming at the expense of other rights.

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I had an entirely different column written on this topic and ended up deleting it. Which stinks, because those are minutes of my life I’ll never get back. But one of the most important elements of politics is to not take your eye off the ball.

We could get lost in all the disappointing details of what has become the so-called “Medical Freedom & Privacy” bill. But that is a conversation for another day — or heck, maybe later today.

This conversation is about the process. And process matters. How we get to a “destination” matters almost as much, if not as much, as the destination itself.

And the reality staring Iowans in the face today is that they are being forced to give away some of their freedoms in exchange for very, very, very, very, very, very, extremely (throwing in a synonym just to keep things interesting) limited medical freedom and privacy.

See, the big Medical Freedom & Privacy Bill has been combined with an omnibus bill tackling a few other issues. Some may say these other issues are “leadership priorities” of the Iowa House. Some may say the pieces of these bills that remain in this one big bill are essentially what’s left of some bills that weren’t popular enough to stand on their own, so the parts 51 Republicans in the House can support are being recycled and lumped together into one big bill to attempt to appease people.

That’s what some may say.

I’ve talked with others who are incensed, however. They are incensed that in order for Iowans to receive a teenie tiny fragment of medical freedom and privacy, some say they have to forfeit their right to a fair trial due to tort reform being included in this omnibus bill.

Regardless of how one feels about tort reform — there are conservative arguments for it and against it — we must keep our eye on the ball and stay focused on the process.

Why are we here? Why are we to the point where the scraps of a once-great-bill are being thrown into a heap of other bills that are unrelated?

Simple. Because Iowa House Republicans didn’t have the votes to advance the Medical Freedom & Privacy Bill on its own. Because they didn’t have 51 Republicans willing to vote yes. They didn’t have 51 votes who supported it.

And it remains to be seen if they have 51 Republicans willing to vote for this extremely watered-down version of it.

So, in the meantime, the moderate Republicans receive protection by never having to cast a public vote against Iowans’ medical freedom and privacy. Instead, some Republicans who undoubtedly oppose medical freedom and privacy (as presented in the bill) will be able to say they voted for it — if this omnibus bill goes through as-is.

And meanwhile, those of us here in the cheap seats, get screwed again. The fact we are here on this issue, with 60 Republicans in the Iowa House, after the last two years, is really sad. It’s embarrassing that 10 of the Iowa House Republicans (or more) don’t see the need for the Medical Freedom & Privacy Bill.

Again, whether you support ALL the aspects of this bill or most of the aspects or enough to vote for it — the question should be is this the right process and right way to show our liberties are prized and rights maintained?

I think any honest person would say no, of course not.

Yet here we are, perhaps on the cusp of taking as much of our freedom as our “freedom-loving” legislators will allow us to have. Not as much as we deserve, just what they will give us. And only for this vaccine, but none of the others.

And why are we here? Because we allow ourselves to be here.

This process is wrong. These bills have nothing to do with one another and are more than capable of standing on their own and deserving of their own votes.

Yet because we tolerate this process in order to get a sliver of what we think we might want on this issue, we enforce precedent that this process can and will be used again and again in the future all for some perceived gains in the midst of actual setbacks.

If I am being honest, I’m not that disappointed in the Iowa House. I never really expected them to produce the votes necessary to pass the Medical Freedom & Privacy Bill. I mean, these are the same 60 people who couldn’t deliver something better than the bills from last year on this same issue.

But it doesn’t mean we didn’t hope.

I am disappointed that this strategy, this process, may work in the sense it provides cover for those who deserve none. Iowans cannot reward a process such as this. Our standards should be much higher. Our liberties should be prized, not leveraged against one another.

Author: Jacob Hall

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Very well stated. Thank you. Hugely disappointed in anyone that votes for this patch through job. You can still stand up courageously and vote NO. It is almost an oxymoron to call it courage to stand up. Why should it even take courage? Voting for the truth and freedom and protection that America was founded on should simply be doing what is right. If it takes “building up courage” to just do which is simply right and Constitutional, we have fallen far from the oath you took when you started this job.

  2. We have 400 zealous patriots here in North Iowa who are watching and will not forget or forgive what is going on. We will not forget and are not willing to forgive. There will now be consequences – we are incensed at the actions of our misrepresentation.

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