Affordable Care Act

Do you have questions about the Affordable Care Act? Are you trying to enroll in the new health exchanges? Do you know how the ACA will impact your bottom line? Join Iowa Public Radio’s reporters and talk shows as we report on the implementation of Obamacare. We’ll share news and issues as the health exchanges begin enrollment, businesses react to the law’s implementation, how the new law will impact Iowans, and what this means for the country.

Do you have questions you want answered or a story idea related to the ACA? Share it with our News team, and be a part of developing our reporting around the Affordable Care Act.

Or, consider joining the IPR Insight Network, where you may be called upon to provide knowledge and experience to help Iowa Public Radio in our reporting efforts. Sign Up here.

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Health
3:47 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

How Iowa Can Keep Its Healthcare Subsidies

Dr. Pete Damiano at Iowa Public Radio to discuss insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act on the talk show “River to River."
Credit IPR/John Pemble

The result of an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case may stop federal subsidies to some 30,000 Iowans who have bought insurance on Iowa’s state-federal partnership exchange.

Health
5:00 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Helps Iowa Hospitals and Patients

Credit Jennifer Morrow

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, 110,000 Iowans have enrolled in Medicaid through the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan.  The income threshold for those eligible went from 100 percent of the poverty level, to 138 percent. 

CEO of the Iowa Hospital Association Kirk Norris talks with Morning Edition about how Medicaid expansion has affected Iowan hospitals. 

Clay Masters: It’s Morning Edition on Iowa Public Radio. Good Morning. I’m Clay Masters.

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Statehouse and Politics
8:01 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Iowans' Health Insurance Threatened

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
Joyce Russell/IPR

Obamacare critics have gone to court to eliminate federal tax credits in most states.

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Health
9:46 am
Fri November 7, 2014

How Is Iowa Doing In the Fight Against Cancer?

17,630 people in Iowa will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014
Faculty of Medicine NTNU

Cancer-related deaths continue to decline in the U.S., and scientific breakthroughs are occurring at a breathtaking pace. But is this trend in jeopardy?

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Ebola
6:30 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Iowa Hospitals Prepare for Ebola

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is undergoing
Jon Favrel Flickr

Though there’s only been two cases in the United States, hospitals across the nation and across Iowa are preparing for the possibility of caring for Ebola patients.

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Medicine
11:09 am
Thu October 2, 2014

To Test or Not to Test

Kristen Powers discusses genetic testing with her father and her doctor.
Kristen Powers Official Twitch Trailer

If you inherited a deadly, incurable disease, would you want to know?

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Talk of Iowa
5:23 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

The Complexities of Aid In Dying, Physician-Assisted Suicide

Lee Haywood

Caring for a loved one who is suffering at the end of life can be an ordeal, and many feel more options are needed.

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News Buzz
3:33 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

New Compound Could Offer Protection Against Brain Injury

Wellcome Images (Creative Commons)

A new class of compounds has been shown to protect against brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

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Healthcare
3:50 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Residency Opportunities Lacking for Young Doctors

Des Moines University's campus in Des Moines, Iowa
Wikimedia Commons

Medical schools are accepting more applicants into their programs, but training programs for doctors after medical school aren't keeping up. 

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Health
1:44 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Living with Parkinson's Disease: "It helps define who I am, but it's not a negative"

Emily Woodbury

Andrew Duarte was only 31 years old when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. One of the biggest questions he had was, “What can I expect?”

“And there’s not really a good answer for that,” he says.

Today on Talk of Iowa - living with Parkinson’s disease. Host Charity Nebbe sits down with two Parkinson's patients and a clinical researcher to talk about recent developments in Parkinson’s research and find out what it’s like to live with the disease.

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Medicine
4:27 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

News Buzz: Preventing Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia was previously difficult to detect until late in the pregnancy.
Ken Hammond Wikimedia Commons

Preeclampsia, a cardiovascular condition that affects expecting mothers and often causes premature births, kills 100,000 women worldwide every year. Previously, it’s been difficult to predict or prevent before the late stages of a pregnancy. But a few researchers at the University of Iowa may change that.

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Crime
3:39 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

News Buzz: Mackenzie Found Guilty

Benton Mackenzie, in a wheelchair, and his wife, Loretta, outside the courthouse Wednesday.
Brian Wellner Quad City Times

Last summer, a Long Grove resident was arrested after police found marijuana plants in his home. Benton Mackenzie claims his family grew the plants in order to treat a rare blood-vessel cancer. This past week, the jury reached a guilty verdict for Mackenzie, his wife and child.

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Brian Wellner, crime reporter for the Quad City Times, about the circumstances, outcome of the trial and why the jury couldn’t hear his primary defense.

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River to River
5:52 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Iowans Weigh in on Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision

Nicholas Eckhart

Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby can be seen as "narrow" or "broad" - depending on how it's looked at. Today on River to River, we ask a political scientist and a legal expert what implications this ruling has for the future.

Today's guests include: Scott Peters, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern Iowa, and Mark Kende, Professor of Law at Drake and the Director of the Drake Constitutional Law Center.

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Health
1:19 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Iowa Doctor Receives Governor's Award for Work in Haiti

Dr. Christopher Buresh first visited Haiti in 2003. Today, he says he thinks about the trip every day. He’d been to India and Peru before going to Haiti but says the poverty he saw there was unique. “It really blew me away that this was a 90 minute plane flight from Miami.”

He talks about mountains of trash and plastic, and women who cut their umbilical cords with broken glass or a rock for lack of a clean blade.

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River to River: From the Archives
12:13 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Growing Old and Dying in Prison

Iowa Medical and Classification Center at the Oakdale Prison near Coralville.
Ben Stanton

Today we listen back to a show, part of Iowa Public Radio's corrections series last summer, about what it is like to grow old and die in prison.

We hear from an offender who works in a hospice program. He has helped 20 fellow inmates face the end of life behind bars. Host Ben Kieffer also talk with a 74-year-old inmate about growing old. We also tour a hospice room at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.

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Crime, Justice and Public Safety
3:06 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Medical Billing Class-Action Suit

Zachary Korb

A class-action lawsuit that could involve thousands of Iowans has been filed against HealthPort Technologies.

The Georgia-based company is a medical records and billings statement provider.  The suit alleges HealthPort overcharges costumers for duplications of their medical records and billing statements.

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs is James Bisconglia of the Des Moines law firm LaMarca & Landry. Bisconglia says that Iowa Code limits the amount a consumer can be charged for a records request.

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2014 Legislative Session
2:04 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Governor Branstad to Sign Bills on Cannabis Oil and HIV Transmission, but REAP Funding in Question

Governor Terry Branstad
John Pemble IPR

A bill legalizing the possession and medical use of cannabis oil for epilepsy patients passed the Iowa House and Senate.  But will the Governor sign it?  In this News Buzz edition of the show, Host Ben Kieffer talks with Governor Terry Branstad about the loose ends from the 2014 legislative session and which bills will or will not gain his signature.

 

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Politics Day
3:06 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Primaries a Bellweather for Iowa's U.S. Senate Race?

USA.gov

On Tuesday, six states held nominating contests and the Republican establishment scored big wins. Are the results a bellwether for Iowa’s primaries in less than two weeks?  Political analysts Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa give us their thoughts on the primaries for open congressional seats here in Iowa.  Host Ben Kieffer asks how the issues of minimum wage and the Affordable Care Act are being talked about by Iowa's GOP candidates for U.S. Senate.
 

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2014 Legislative Session
4:20 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Session Ends, Campaigning Begins

The Iowa Capitol
John Pemble IPR

The Iowa Legislature adjourned last week and even though it’s an election year, lawmakers managed to get a few big items accomplished, including a $7-billion budget and a bill that decriminalizes some forms of medical marijuana in the state. At the same time, priority bills from the governor to crack down on schoolyard bullying and expand broadband to rural parts of the state failed.

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News
5:30 am
Fri May 2, 2014

In Medical Billing, Everyone Pays a Different Price

Karla Vaquerano-Serio (right) and Krystal Nichols are patient advocates at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

In a small room stuffed with cubicles at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, a team of patient advocates answers phones, enters data, and determines who is eligible for financial assistance.

When a patient at Mercy is faced with a hospital bill they can’t pay, they come here. Team leader Karla Vaquerano-Serio says many times, it’s only a matter of helping a patient sign up for a federal program they didn’t realize they qualified for.

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Talk of Iowa
2:22 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Confronting Death

Vinoth Chandar

Death can be scary, difficult and painful, but it can also be a healing and beautiful process. How does one have a "good death?"

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Health Care
4:21 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

The Influence of Insurance on Your Hospital Bill

Common hospital billing and insurance terms
Emily Woodbury, via Wordle

A trip to the emergency room is expensive, even for more routine procedures. Take for example, Ron Smith, an Indianola resident whose $24,240 bill for a rabies vaccination was negotiated down by $17,627 by his insurance company.

Today, the third installment in our examination of hospital costs. We find out how insurance negotiations play into how much you pay for that ER visit, how Iowa’s insurance landscape may change through the Affordable Care Act, and how the number of visits to the ER may be affected by Obamacare.

Today's guests include:

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Statehouse and Politics
8:04 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Iowa Lawmakers Expect to Adjourn this Week

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The predictions are out there that Iowa's legislative session will wrap up early this week. On Mondays we check in with IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to make sense of everything going on up at the capitol.

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Statehouse and Politics
3:54 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Limited Medical Marijuana Bill Advances at Statehouse

Sally Gaer has lobbied lawmakers for a law that would allow her to use cannabis oil to treat her daughter's seizures.
John Pemble IPR

A senate subcommittee has approved a bill that would let the parents of children with a severe form of epilepsy go out of state to get an oil-based form of medical marijuana for their children.  The bill will be considered by a full senate committee sometime after five o'clock today. 

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Health Care
4:52 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Delivering Better and More Affordable Care to Emergency Room "Super-Users"

Dr. Joshua Pruitt at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids
Durrie Bouscaren

Some Iowans visit hospital emergency rooms more than 15 times a year. They’re known as “frequent-flyers” or super-users of the ER. Today on River to River, how our system handles them.

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News
5:21 am
Thu April 10, 2014

How a Cedar Rapids Emergency Room Saved Millions, and What it Means for the Whole State

Theresa Brown, who is enrolled in the coordinated care program at St. Luke's, sits in her home in Cedar Rapids.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

Emergency Rooms are often the catch-all of the medical world, where patients can receive care at any hour, regardless of their ability to pay.

But physicians and hospital administrators say it’s an expensive and disjointed way for people to receive care, particularly when patients visit the ER multiple times a year.

A pilot program to manage care for ER ‘super users’ in Cedar Rapids is now in its third year—and administrators say it saves St. Luke’s Hospital about a million dollars annually.

Coordinating Care for Multiple Diagnoses

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Statehouse and Politics
6:35 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Branstad on Settlements, Medical Marijuana

Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad in the statehouse law library.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Despite predictions for a speedy session in which nothing of substance was accomplished, the 2014 legislative session has had plenty of controversy.  Governor Terry Branstad was a guest on IPR’s River to River on Monday.

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