Iowans didn't get a 'better deal'

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Rep. Ashley Hinson’s June 27 guest column “Trump visit highlights commitment to Midwest” supporting President Donald Trump is long in rhetoric and short on facts. It’s probably because the facts don’t back up her claims.

Let’s start with her claim Iowans got a “better deal” during the 2017 legislative session.

The state budget has dipped into the red three times this year. As a result, public schools have been shortchanged and tuition is going up at our community colleges and universities.

That isn’t a better deal, it’s a bad deal for students headed to Kirkwood Community College, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University or the University of Northern Iowa this fall.

Rep. Hinson and her party leaders shut down four health care clinics this year. That isn’t a better deal, it’s a bad deal for 14,676 Iowans who are going to lose access to cancer screenings and reproductive health care.

GOP leaders and Rep. Hinson still refuse to fix the Medicaid privatization mess that turned our health care over to out-of-state, for-profit companies. That isn’t a better deal, it’s a bad deal for 622,160 Iowans who can’t get the care they need.

Rep. Hinson, Trump and our new governor have crafted a new health care plan that will raise rates by an average of 43 percent on the individual market.

That isn’t a better deal, it’s a bad deal for the 72,000 Iowans who will be paying higher premiums next year.

Rep. Hinson also stated her strong support for the policies of President Trump without regard for the facts.

Her chief claim is that he’s prioritized rural America by visiting here, but his budget does exactly the opposite.

Trump’s budget outlined last month cuts crop insurance payments by a third and caps the payment to farmers, which could bankrupt some farmers in cases of extreme weather.

That isn’t a better deal, it’s a bad deal for thousands of farmers across Iowa.

Trump’s budget includes massive cuts to broadband initiatives to keep and bring small businesses to rural areas.

That isn’t a better deal, it’s a bad deal for small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural Iowa who need high-speed internet connections to grow their business and create good jobs.

Rep. Hinson and I can agree Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus position makes us spoiled when it comes to politics and elections.

Unfortunately for her, it also means Iowans are extremely skeptical when politicians like Rep. Hinson say one thing and do another.

• Eric Gjerde, of Cedar Rapids, is a special-education teacher at Jefferson High School and Democratic candidate for House District 67.

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