Greetings from the Statehouse

By Michael Bergan

The Iowa House released our Health and Human Services Budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022. The budget prioritizes child care, mental health services, telehealth, nursing homes and more.

This week, the Iowa House passed the Administration and Regulation budget containing $100 million for broadband internet expansion. Iowa House Republicans have made it a priority to not just increase broadband speeds, but make sure Iowans in “broadband deserts” get connected to broadband internet. As more people continue to work remotely and telehealth capabilities continue to expand, what was once seen as a luxury has now become a necessity. This significant investment will allow the state to aggressively build out Iowa’s broadband infrastructure, opening more opportunities for Iowans all across the state.
The Iowa House released our Health and Human Services Budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022. The budget prioritizes child care, mental health services, telehealth, nursing homes and more.
Child care – This budget increases child care rates by $13.4 million and includes language to fix the child care cliff effect by creating an “off ramp” from the Child Care Assistance program. This will allow parents to grow in their career without losing their child care assistance entirely and all at once. 
Telehealth – The budget proposal also includes language previously passed by the House but stalled in the Senate to require health insurers to reimburse for mental health services provided through telehealth at the same rate as services provided in-person. This will be a huge help to all Iowans, especially those in our rural communities. 
Mental health – The budget makes a significant investment into mental health services by including $33.5 million in rate increases for mental health providers and families through Medicaid, including significant increases for children’s mental health services, home-based habilitation, rural physiatrists and more. 
Additional highlights include: a $52.7 million nursing home increase – Iowa’s 444 nursing homes have worked tirelessly throughout the public health emergency to protect their vulnerable residents; funds an additional 32 FTEs to DHS field operations in this current fiscal year and adds another 53 FTEs over the next two years to protect children when there is a suspicion of child abuse; fund $425,000 to a health care entity in a rural area that is willing to collaborate with other local health care providers to provide a need health service in the area, like OB; fully fund Glenwood Resource Center at the Governor’s recommendation. 
I can be reached by email at michael.bergan@legis.iowa.gov.

Submit A Comment

Fill out the form to submit a comment. All comments require approval by our staff before it is displayed on the website.

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments