Friday, January 27, 2023


A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.


Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

HHS Exec Encourages Iowans to Check Health Insurance Options


 Mark Moran, Producer-Editor


Wednesday, November 23, 2022   

The federal Health and Human Services director who oversees Iowa wants residents to take advantage of lower health care costs through the Affordable Care Act, which is open for enrollment until early next year.

Joseph Palm, Region 7 director for the department, oversees Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. In Des Moines Tuesday, Palm said Iowans can take advantage of enhanced tax credits built into the Inflation Reduction Act to save on health care premiums. He said the credits mean Iowans without insurance can choose health plans which can cost as little as $10 a month.

"What makes this so important is that having health insurance is simply vital in today's America, and it gets more vital every year," Palm asserted. "Not only because the cost of health care rises every year, but because the older we are, the more health care services we are likely to need."

Palm pointed out savings on health care premiums will allow families to afford other things with prices also being driven up by inflation, such as groceries, home heating and rent. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports about 5% of Iowans lack health insurance.

Palm noted the enhanced tax credits available on the insurance marketplace are likely to drive even more people to sign up next year. The Affordable Care Act caps premiums at 8.5% of a person's income, whereas costs can be much higher though traditional, employer-offered plans. Palm added more than 72,000 Iowans signed up for insurance through the marketplace last year.

"They saved an average of about $1,170 annually off the cost of other commercial health insurance," Palm emphasized. "The savings are especially important for people approaching retirement."

Palm stressed rising costs hit people close to retirement especially hard. Nationally, the Affordable Care Act makes insurance available to 13 million Americans. Enrollment in the health care marketplace is open until Jan. 15.

get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…

Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

In 2020, 83% of Arkansans reported being registered to vote. That's lower than the national average of just over 87%, according to the MIT Elections Performance Index. (Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…


New Mexico residents have two weeks to submit written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency about its proposal to implement stronger standar…

Social Issues

As National News Literacy Week comes to an end, one Nevada journalism professor says media professionals need to make building trust with their …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021