Iowa Public Radio Insight Network

  • Up to one e-mail a month asking for your insight on issues we plan to cover - you respond only if you have knowledge; otherwise ignore the request
  • An occasional follow-up by e-mail or phone to get more information
  • Confidentiality - we won't quote you on the radio or the web without your permission
  • An open line into our newsroom for you to tell us what stories are important to you, your family and your community
  • No spam, marketing calls, or requests for money - your information is private and is not shared outside of a small circle of public radio journalists
  • A chance to help with national stories through our partnership with American Public Media, on programs such as Marketplace, Speaking of Faith, and American RadioWorks

Your help will make our news coverage stronger:

  • By giving our shows access to first person information and sources, new story ideas, a wider range of perspectives, and information that helps us identify under-covered or emerging issues
  • By broadening our network of sources and strengthening our connections with diverse people around the region
  • By helping us create deeper and more relevant reporting based on a diverse range of sources

The stories below have been informed by our Public Insight Network.

Join the Public Insight Network | Frequently Asked Questions

Dan DeLuca / Flickr

Iowa has the highest rate of worker fatalities and injuries in the Midwest.

Kathy Leinenkugel, of the Iowa Department of Public Health, says this is due to several factors, including the fact that Iowa has an aging workforce where many people are self-employed.

David Scrivner / Iowa City Press-Citizen

Iowa’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Democrats in Iowa are calling for an increase, and in Washington, Democratic lawmakers would like to see the federal minimum wage raised to $12 by 2020.

On this edition of River to River we kick off our summer jobs series, Iowa At Work, by talking with Iowans trying to make ends meet on low wages.

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:

Nick Oza / The Arizona Republic

In the emergency room, the last thing you want to think about is what your bill is going to look like. But, weeks later you will receive a bill in the mail; and you might experience some sticker shock.

Today on River to River, we seek to answer your hospital billing questions. Questions like: why does an aspirin cost upwards of $15, when I can get a generic bottle at the drug store at 2 cents a pop?

Clay Masters / IPR

 Editor Note: The Millennials in the piece were found because they signed up for the IPR Insight Network. Please consider signing up today and lending your expertise and experience to some of our reporting.

John Pemble / IPR

All this week, IPR’s Clay Masters has been talking with Iowans who receive Medicaid services to get their input on the debate between Governor Branstad and the Democratic-controlled state Senate over expanding Medicaid.

River to River wraps up the series with host Ben Kieffer sitting down with Clay and several Medicaid recipients, as well as the Governor’s healthcare policy advisor Michael Bousselot and Democratic state senator Pam Jochum.

Clay Masters / IPR

There’s a showdown of sorts between Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad and the Democratic-controlled Senate over expanding Medicaid. Under federal law all states have to decide whether or not they’ll extend enrollment in the joint state and federal healthcare program for the poor. The legislature’s 110-day session is set to end  Friday, but the dispute over Medicaid is one of the issues that’s likely to keep lawmakers from going home.

There’s one issue that will likely help keep state lawmakers from adjourning at the end of the week; that’s healthcare. Thousands of low-income Iowans will be kicked off a healthcare program that expires at the end of the year and there’s disagreement over how to cover them. Republican Governor Terry Branstad is at odds with Democratic-controlled Senate who want to expand Medicaid. The governor doesn’t want to rely on the feds… so he’s introduced his own plan.

Clay Masters / IPR


Iowans on Medicaid

Apr 29, 2013
Clay Masters / IPR

Right now, under federal law states have to figure out how to insure the poor. They can either expand the joint federal/state healthcare program for low-income people called Medicaid… or they can get waivers and devise their own plans. Democrats who control the Iowa Senate are at odds with Republican Governor Terry Branstad has introduced his own plan. IPR Statehouse correspondent Clay Masters wanted to get away from the politics and talk to Iowans who receive these services.