CUMBERLAND – Iowa Senator Tom Shipley and Iowa Representative Tom Moore discussed what they have been working on at the state house during a legislative coffee in Cumberland on Saturday, and topics included health care and flood damage.
Representative Moore talked about one bill he wants to get out of committee, so members of the House and Senate can consider it, which is a non-medical switching bill.
“What that means is that as you as an individual and your doctor, according to this bill, have the right to decide that you are stable on a medication, and the insurance company can’t switch you to a different medication,” Moore explained.
He said medication being switched does not happen in a lot of cases, “but it’s critical to those that it does happen to because many times these people have relapses, they can be hospitalized, it can cause numerous adverse effects to their life when the insurance company for reasons mostly, if not all the time, monetary, decide that they’re going to switch you from medication A to medication B because it’s similar. They have doctors that say this would be a good alternative.”
Representative Moore said sometimes if a medicine is switched, the individual doesn’t have any problem, but “(for) other people it does have a lot of adverse effects. My bill will stop insurance companies from being able to do that unless (the medication is) an equivalent generic, which means we’re trading apples for apples. And sometimes even (with) that apples for apples there can be enough of difference that it can have an effect.”
“But,” he continued. “if the equivalents are the same, the insurance company has the right to change you to an equivalent, and that only makes sense. Why shouldn’t they cut their cost as well? But we don’t want them to cut their cost at the expense of the patient. That’s my belief.”
Senator Shipley said one thing he’s been working on is helping those in his district who have been dealing with flooding issues.
“The thing I’ve been focused on for this year has been helping get flood damage resolved, and it’s (primarily) in western Pottawattamie County,” he said. “And I’ve told my other places when you have as much flood damage as they had, I’ll be happy to step up and try to resolve that issue too.”
He said about $20 million has been appropriated to resolve flood damage issues, and it’s “paying for work that’s being done now on some of those levees, especially north of Council Bluffs, to prevent a disaster this spring.”
Senator Shipley said he also recently saw a Facebook message that said work to fix levees was expected to be done in the Thurman area this week.
“There was a Facebook message from a friend of mine to the Thurman area to be watching this week because there’s 35 trucks that are going to be running 24/7 hauling dirt to fix levees,” he said.
The legislative coffees are hosted by members of the Progressive Rural Iowa Development Enterprise or P.R.I.D.E. organization, and two more will be held in the next couple of months. One will be held on March 7 at the Marne Community Center from 1 to 2 p.m., and the other will be held Lewis Library on April 11 from 1 to 2 p.m.