CEDAR RAPIDS — As a congresswoman, state Rep. Ashley Hinson says her priorities would be issues that affect Iowa families, including health care and child care, as well as the small businesses that she called the backbone of the Iowa economy.
“I see reducing health care costs as the number one target of what Congress needs to take action on,” Hinson said Monday during a virtual forum with the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
Congress hasn’t taken as much action as she would like to address concerns of health care consumers, Hinson said.
“So I think targeted fixes that cover preexisting conditions, I think that’s incredibly important,” according to the Marion Republican who is challenging freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st District that covers 20 northeast Iowa counties including Linn, Black Hawk, Dubuque and Marshall. The Cook Political Report rates the race “Democratic tossup.”
Finkenauer, is scheduled to meet with the Greater Des Moines Partnership Oct. 7.
Some of the fixes Hinson referred to are needed because the Affordable Care Act has not worked out as intended, Hinson said.
“Clearly, premiums have increased dramatically, in some cases, more than doubled for people,” she said. One way to curtail costs would be “administrative simplification ... because a lot of the health care costs that are being passed on to consumers are tied up in administrative work.”
“We can provide patients with the care they need, doctors with the reimbursement that they need, and just make sure that that process is as simplified as possible, while still providing the best care is my priority,” said Hinson, a two-term state lawmaker and former television news anchor.
As a mother of two, she knows the twin challenges of access and affordability of child care.
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“I’ve been there,” Hinson said about the “strain that the expense of child care can put on your family budge.”
In the Iowa Legislature, she supported expanding child care tax credits and a measure to help families avoid the child care “cliff” — when a minor increase in household income can cause the total loss of child care subsidy making child care unaffordable.
“Nobody should be turning down a raise because they’re concerned about losing child care,” Hinson said. Unfortunately, she added, the measure was not acted upon during the session that was abbreviated because of COVID-19. “We want to try to make sure that more people could work more and not have to worry about their benefits dropping off.”
Another top priority would be extending small business tax credits that are due to expire in 2025.
“I’m saying I want to run on rebuilding our economy, (so) let’s give those small businesses the certainty that they need,” Hinson said. “Let’s make sure that they have the long-term certainty that they need.”
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