***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

Another busy week at the Statehouse – I will highlight a couple of things that will be of interest to you.

Healthcare legislation has been the topic in several committees this week. Access to healthcare continues to be a problem for Iowans. Currently, there are over 1.3 million Iowans that have a pre-existing condition. Because of a federal lawsuit in Texas, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that contains protections for Iowans with pre-existing conditions could be overturned later this year.

If the law is overturned, Iowans with a pre-existing condition would lose their protections overnight. Insurance companies would immediately deny health care coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or they could raise their premium rates so high that it would be unaffordable.

This is unacceptable and that is why I am working with my colleagues to put in new protections in Iowa law to guarantee Iowans cannot be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
A bill was introduced in the Senate to ban vaping in public places similar to the state ban on public smoking.

A bill is being considered in response to the increasing rate of suicides among teenagers that would put information about the National Suicide Prevention Line on school ID’s.

Water quality has been an issue that I am working on with a group of my colleagues. While there may not be any legislation drafted this year, we are looking at possible actions we can make toward improving water quality in the state of Iowa. Any suggestions or ideas you may have on water quality are appreciated!

I am also currently working on bills dealing with Iowa’s laws on alcohol and open meetings.

Author: Vicki Lensing