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The state of Iowa and our country have a health care crisis. Rates are skyrocketing, quality care is unattainable or unaffordable and political gridlock in Des Moines and Washington D.C. offer little hope that help is on the way.

Recently, state legislators in Iowa passed a bill allowing different organizations to offer health care products to their members. These new products are different than insurance in that there are no rules on what must be covered. Iowans can be denied coverage because they have a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure, pregnancy, diabetes, or heart disease. It allows organizations to discriminate against older Iowans, who typically have higher costs, by charging them higher rates.

I've spent over 30 years in the health care field and have worked through lots of changes in the health care market. Unfortunately, I can tell you this new bill doesn't do enough to help many Iowans desperate for affordable healthcare and will make health care even more expensive for those who need it the most.

If we're going to get serious about finding real solutions to our health care crisis, we need to begin by working together. It's going to take Republican, Democrats and independents, working with employers and employees to find solutions that lower costs. We need to protect Iowans with pre-existing conditions, keep health care affordable, and make sure it's accessible for every Iowan, especially in rural areas.

Tim Knutson, Northwood

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