Posts tagged: Linda Upmeyer

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Stopgap Measure will stabilize Iowa’s collapsing health insurance market

A new school year is upon us and evenings will soon be filled with fall sports and other school activities. Best of luck to all Iowa students, teachers, and parents for a successful new school year!

Iowa once had a stable and affordable health insurance market where premiums were low and there were several choices for consumers.  Iowa also had a functioning high-risk pool for those individuals who could not obtain insurance through private companies.  Following the enactment of Obamacare and its mandates, Iowa’s market has collapsed, which has resulted in skyrocketing premiums and a lack of options for consumers.

Earlier this year, Iowa made national headlines when two of the three statewide health insurance carriers announced that they would no longer be participating in the individual insurance marketplace.  That has left  72,000 Iowans with just one choice for health insurance, which will also see large premium increases of 43-56% in 2018.

In an effort to stabilize our insurance market, Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen has put together a temporary solution, known as the “Stopgap Measure,” to give Iowans an option for health coverage next year.  This plan will require Federal approval from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

It’s critical that the Stopgap Measure receives Federal approval to preserve health insurance access for thousands of Iowans.  I recently sent a letter of support to HHS and CMS urging them to act quickly and approve Iowa’s plan because without the Stopgap Measure, Iowans will be left with no options next year.

While the Stopgap is not a permanent fix, doing nothing at this time isn’t an option.  What this plan will do, is give Congress additional time to move forward with replacing Obamacare with something that makes health insurance more accessible and affordable to Iowa families.

If the Stopgap Measure isn’t approved by the Federal Government, 72,000 Iowans will have limited options for health coverage next year.  While some will continue to purchase insurance at higher rates, others will simply go without coverage or could leave the state.  A decision on the approval will hopefully be made by the time open enrollment begins on November 1.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or feedback that you may have.  You can reach me at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or (515) 281-3521.

Speaker Upmeyer Stopgap Support Letter

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A Skilled and Competitive Workforce

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A Skilled and Competitive Workforce

Summer continues to move right along which means the Iowa State Fair is just around the corner. The State Fair is a wonderful opportunity for families from across the Midwest to spend time together and learn about the impact that agriculture has here in Iowa and around the globe.

The Fair runs this year from August 10-20. I hope you’re able to make the trip to Des Moines and enjoy one of our state’s premier events!

Iowa’s unemployment rate has been near record lows for the last several months with the current rate at 3.2%. This is good news for Iowa, and while more Iowans are working than ever, businesses continue to hire. Unfortunately, employers are struggling to find enough workers with the skills needed to fill their job openings.

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Speaker Upmeyer Issues Statement on the Passing of Rep. Greg Forristall

Rep. Greg Forristall

Speaker of the Iowa House Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) issued the following statement in response to the passing of Rep. Greg Forristall (R-Macedonia):

“Our hearts are heavy today with the passing of Rep. Greg Forristall, who fought courageously during his  battle with cancer.  He was a dedicated public servant to the people he represented and an advocate for the arts and education, two issues that he was incredibly passionate for.  He will be sorely missed.

We send our thoughts and prayers to Greg’s family and friends, but especially to his wife, Carol.  Carol served alongside Greg for many years in the House as his clerk and is a fellow member of the House Republican family.”

Forristall was born in Council Bluffs and grew up on the family farm near Macedonia and attended Carson-Macedonia schools where he graduated in 1968.  He went on to attend the University of Iowa, graduating in 1972 and earned a Master of Arts degree in 1973.  Greg married Carol in 1978, and she taught music in Iowa public schools for 35 years.

Forristall was elected to serve his sixth term in the Iowa House last November.  During his tenure in the Legislature, he served as Chairman of the Education Committee from 2011-2013 and the Labor Committee from 2013-2017.

Forristall was active in the community with organizations such as the Council Bluffs Sister Cities, Farm Bureau, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the Iowa Western Community College Board.  He was a member of the United States Grain Council and served on the Iowa State Board of Education, the Iowa Western Community College Board and the Iowa Community College Council.

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Speaker Upmeyer’s Closing Remarks for the 2017 Session

This was a session in which we all came in a little unsure of how to read the message from the election. What seemed clear however, is that voters were tired of the status quo and they weren’t very interested in shoulder shrugs or finger-pointing from their representatives.

Voters wanted government to get work done and to work on their behalf. In short, the message from Iowans is that they wanted a better deal.

We took that to heart and while congress still looks like a pickup truck stuck in mud, we rolled our sleeves up and got to work.

Rather than being restrained by tradition or status quo, we accepted the challenge of doing the hard things.

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Speaker Upmeyer’s Opening Remarks for the 87th General Assembly

(DES MOINES) — Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) delivered opening remarks to the Iowa House of Representatives today.  The following are her remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!

It’s such an honor to be here with you today. I love being able to share such an amazing day with you, your families, and people all across our state. Of all the things that come with an opening day, my favorite remains the optimism that fills this room.

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Meet Our Members – Speaker Linda Upmeyer

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Speaker of the House Leader Linda Upmeyer just finished serving her seventh term in the Iowa House.  She represents Iowa’s 54th District which includes Clear Lake and Hampton.

Rep. Upmeyer serves as the first female Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives, and was previously elected as Iowa’s first female House Majority Leader by her peers in 2010.

Linda was born on July 23, 1952 in Mason City. Her father, Del Stromer, was a farmer and former Speaker of the Iowa House. Her mother, Harriet, is a homemaker and was a longtime aide to Del. Linda has one brother, David, a farmer in Garner, and a sister, Pam, in Dublin, Ohio.

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Speaker Upmeyer’s Closing Remarks

(DES MOINES) – Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) delivered closing remarks on the 2016 session to the Iowa House of Representatives today.  The following are her remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the House, thank you.  Thank you for your time, patience and service.

A very special thanks to the 12 retirees this year.  As you leave the Capitol today, please know all of us appreciate your commitment to Iowans in your district.

Thank you to the House Republican Leadership team: Matt, Joel, Walt, Jarad, John and Zach – you serve our caucus well and I appreciate the help each of provide.

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Speaker Select Upmeyer Issues Statement on Syrian Refugees

(DES MOINES) – Today Speaker Select Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) issued the following statement regarding Governor Branstad’s actions to suspend the relocation of Syrian refugees in Iowa:

“Iowa has a rich tradition of compassion and welcoming refugees from across the globe, but we must ensure that the safety and security of Iowans are put first,” said Speaker-select Upmeyer.  “I want to thank Governor Branstad for his swift action to suspend the placement of Syrian refugees within the state until a thorough review of the vetting process can be completed.  We must keep the security interests of Iowans in mind; pausing until we have more confidence in our intelligence is the responsible approach.”

“I would encourage President Obama to strongly consider the requests of numerous Governors that have asked for a review of the nation’s current refugee policy.”

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Under the Golden Dome, Too – Growing a 21st Century Workforce

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Earlier this week we celebrated Veteran’s Day to honor those who served in our nation’s armed forces. I’d like to take the time at the beginning of this newsletter to thank them for their service, sacrifice, and dedication to this country. Without the brave men and women of our armed forces, past and present, I wouldn’t be able to represent the 30,000 citizens of District 54 in the Iowa House. Our soldiers and veterans have fought to ensure that all Americans remain free and that our democracy stands.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many Iowans over recent weeks. The topics of education, career readiness and workforce needs have come up frequently. While the Legislature has taken steps over the past few years to solve some of these issues, there is still work to be done.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too

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Caution Flags

With Halloween upon us next week, that means that the Holiday Season is right around the corner.  Soon we will all be getting ready to spend time with family and friends over Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners as we head into the New Year.  It’s hard to believe that we are only about two months away from 2016!

Last week the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) held its October meeting where they projected how much revenue the state can expect to collect during the current fiscal year and next year.  The REC consists of three members: one from the Legislative Branch, one from the Executive Branch, and a member from the public.

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