2023 Iowa PCA State Legislative Priorities

January 20, 2023

The Iowa Primary Care Association and our member community health centers are committed to ensuring health equity for all, keeping our communities healthy, and meaningfully contributing to economic activity in the communities we support. As the 2023 Iowa legislative session begins, we are sharing our four legislative priorities.

Protecting Access to Affordable Medications
The 340B Drug Pricing Program allows patients of community health centers and other covered entities to receive access to affordable, often life-saving prescription medications. Maintaining the integrity of the 340B Program is critical for ensuring our state, particularly those in rural areas, are able to have access to affordable medications. As one of the few programs that is proven to help Iowans access affordable prescription drugs, we need to safeguard the original intent of the 340B program.

Expanding Access to Comprehensive Care
We maintain that an annual fund for capital expenditures should be established to expand services available to all Iowans, improve healthcare technology, expand physical locations, and to remain viable employers and producers of economic activity in rural and under-resourced areas. All Iowa community health centers currently have waiting lists for behavioral health and/or dental services. Investing in community health center infrastructure will expand access in Iowa, particularly in rural areas or where access to healthcare is particularly dire.

Supporting the Healthcare Workforce
It is essential that we support Iowa community health center’s workforce by addressing shortages throughout the state, including by investing in recruitment and retention strategies, training, and loan repayment with a focus on: 

  • Dentists
  • Dental assistants
  • Medical assistants
  • Nurses
  • Hygienists
  • Other healthcare support staff

Making further investments and expanding eligibility of loan repayment programs or creating a pool of resources can help with recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals in under-resourced communities, including in the areas of behavioral health and oral health.

Extending Medicaid Postpartum Coverage
Extending Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months in Iowa would help improve maternal health, increase coverage stability, and address health disparities. The extension of Medicaid postpartum coverage beyond the current 60 days is essential to addressing the high maternal mortality rate