Cathy Glasson Calls on Iowa Legislature to Support Universal Health Care Law 

Democrat for Governor backs single-payer Healthy Iowa Program introduced in State House 

2/16/2018. For Immediate Release. Contact: Roger Ouellette rouellette@cathyglasson.com 

CEDAR RAPIDS – During the latest stops on her Health Care in the Heartland Tour in Wayne and Lucas counties, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cathy Glasson reiterated her strong support for Medicare for All, but said if Washington DC politicians fail to act Iowa must be ready to lead the way.  

“Throughout this campaign, I’ve said we need to move forward with a universal, single-payer health care system right here in Iowa,” Glasson said. “Today, I’m proud to offer my strong support for a bold legislative plan that does just that. The Healthy Iowa Program (House File 2352) would allow us to create a high-quality health care system that takes care of everyone in our state, regardless of their ability to pay. The time has come for universal, single-payer health care in Iowa and this bill, introduced by Representatives Bruce Hunter and Marti Anderson, is a smart vehicle for getting it done.”   

Hunter’s and Anderson’s legislation would merge Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act into the Healthy Iowa Program, creating a true publicly-administered single-payer health care system that covers every Iowan. The bill would also work to lower the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs so all Iowans can afford the medications they need. Glasson believes any universal single-payer plan must also include expanded access to mental health treatment and women’s reproductive care to restore critical services that have been cut back in Iowa.  

“As an intensive care nurse and a health care union leader, I’ve been on the front lines trying to fix this system for decades,” Glasson stated. “It’s clear that for-profit health care is failing most Iowans.

I’ve seen it over and over again, insurance companies always put profits first and patients dead last. We can finally change that by passing The Healthy Iowa Program. Today, I’m calling on all elected officials in our state to put aside their partisan political differences and do the right thing for our families— pass a universal single-payer health care program to cover every Iowan.” 

From weekly trips to the state capital to lobby elected officials to support universal health care to her multi-month “Health Care in the Heartland” rural health care tour, Glasson has proven herself to be the only candidate spearheading a major effort to dramatically improve the health of Iowans by building a movement in all 99 counties to support single-payer health care. 

“The time for political excuses and half-measures is over,“ Glasson said. “That’s why we’re fighting for universal, single-payer health care, a $15 minimum wage and the right to join a union no matter where you work. With those three bold ideas, we can dramatically improve the lives of more than a million Iowans.” 

“This new legislation is a fundamental part of changing our state for the better,” Glasson concluded. “The Healthy Iowa Program deserves fair hearings and a full debate in the Legislature. I will fight to build support for this plan across our state. And if Iowans honor me by electing me Governor, I will sign this bill into law as soon as it comes to my desk. I believe in my heart that health care is a fundamental human right. It’s time to make sure everyone is in and nobody is left out.” 

Cathy Glasson, 59, is the President of SEIU Local 199 representing thousands of nurses, health care workers and school support employees across Iowa. She is a registered nurse who worked in the intensive care unit at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where she led the effort to unionize her fellow nurses 18 years ago. She lives in Coralville, Iowa with her husband Matt, a labor educator.