Iowa governor trying to have it both ways on Affordable Care Act

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Governor Kim Reynolds continues to take credit for a major benefit of the Affordable Care Act, even as she calls on Congress to repeal and replace the 2010 health care reform law. During today’s Condition of the State address, the governor boasted that compared to a few years ago, “150,000 more Iowans have mental health coverage today and have access to more local and modern service.” She didn’t mention that those Iowans gained health insurance only because the Affordable Care Act included funding to expand Medicaid. The dismal state of access to mental health services in Iowa is a scandal: “47th in psychiatrists, 44th in mental health workforce availability and 51st (including the District of Columbia) in the ratio of state psychiatric beds to residents,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The latest statewide survey by Selzer & Co for the Des Moines Register found that 64 percent of Iowans disapprove and only 25 percent approve of how the state legislature and executive branch are handling mental health. During today’s Condition of the State address, Reynolds returned to a favorite theme: the alleged failure of federal health care reform. My transcript of her remarks as delivered, starting around the 21:30 mark of this video: Before the Affordable Care Act, Iowa had an individual insurance market with relatively low cost and high participation. Today, our health care market is collapsing. It’s unaffordable. It’s unsustainable. And it’s unacceptable. While I continue to call on Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, we can’t wait for Congress to fix it. This session we must work together to pass legislation that gives Iowa farmers, small business owners and their workers access to affordable insurance. A few minutes later, Reynolds defended her administration’s record on mental health. Beginning

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