GOP: House Republicans Gave Iowa Families a #BetterDeal in 2017

June 19, 2017
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Iowa is already a great place to live, work, and raise a family, but House Republicans want to do more to support Iowa families.  In order to move Iowa forward, we need a positive environment where families have opportunities to thrive and grow.

House Republicans worked hard this session to support Iowa families in a number of different ways.  We made it easier to save for a home so families can put down roots, continued our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, extended valuable insurance coverage to families who have a child with autism, and expanded access to medical cannabidiol to help sick Iowans.  Each of these things with benefit Iowa families in a tremendous way and improve each of their lives.

It’s clear that after the 2017 session, Iowa families are getting a #BetterDeal.


Helping Iowans save for their future

One of the best ways we can get young Iowans to stay in Iowa and put down roots is by encouraging home ownership.  House Republicans made it easier for Iowans to save for a down payment on their first house by creating First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts.  These accounts, similar to the College Savings Iowa 529 plans, provide tax benefits and encourage saving for the future purpose of purchasing a home.


Combatting opioid dependence and addiction

Addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription painkillers has become an increasing problem in Iowa, and across the country.  While Iowa’s addiction problem hasn’t reached the same levels as many other states, overdose deaths are on the rise and we must do more to combat this epidemic.

During the 2016 session, the General Assembly passed legislation that increased access to opioid antagonists.  An opioid antagonist, such as Narcan, can temporarily prevent a deadly overdose, allowing those suffering from addiction to get medical assistance and seek treatment.

In 2017, House Republicans continued efforts to combat opioid abuse and dependence, specifically through the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) which allows prescribers to identify potential abuse.  We granted PMP access to Medical Examiners and allowed Iowa to work with other states and share PMP information.

Additionally, while not enacted into law this session, the House passed legislation that required prescribers to register for the PMP in an effort to encourage its usage, and required pharmacists to make daily updates to ensure accurate information.


Keeping Iowans safe from deadly synthetic drugs

Many times over the last several years, House Republicans passed legislation that would crack down on dangerous synthetic drugs that can end up in the hands of children.  A change in the Senate finally allowed the House to pass this priority bill that will keep Iowans safe.

The bill protects Iowa’s kids by keeping deadly synthetic drugs off the streets, while also making it easier to prosecute the sellers of those drugs.  It also streamlines state government’s ability to prohibit synthetic drugs.


Extending insurance coverage for autism treatments

House Republicans addressed the unique challenges that parents of children with autism face by extending insurance coverage for autism treatments to Iowa families. Coverage for autism can be very expensive but is very beneficial for future growth. This legislation ensures access to programs with proven, positive outcomes in the child’s development.


Providing access to medical cannabidiol

During the 2017 session, legislators from both parties worked to find a bipartisan solution to increase access to medical cannabidiol to potentially ease the suffering of sick Iowans who are looking for a more effective treatment option.  Under the previous law, Iowans could possess cannabidiol, but it was often difficult for them to obtain it.

Bipartisan legislation that was passed this session expands Iowa’s medical cannabidiol program to allow for the growing, producing, and distributing of cannabidiol in Iowa.  It also expands the number qualifying conditions to obtain medical cannabidiol and establishes a Board to make future recommendations for additional diseases and dosage levels.  This board puts medical decisions about what is considered effective treatment into the hands of medical professionals, and takes it away from politicians.

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