The Iowa House today approved historic legislation to reform Iowa’s health care system which will lead to more Iowans covered by insurance, improved quality and more affordability.

“Building on our progress last year, Iowans are ready for historic reform of our health care system. It won’t happen overnight, but it will set us on the path to insure that all Iowans have access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said State Representative Lisa Heddens of Ames, who managed to the bill to a 97-0 vote in the House.

House File 2539 contains several initiatives to improve the quality and affordability of health care. First, it sets a goal that every Iowa child will have health insurance by the end of 2010. Second, every Iowan will have a patient centered medical home, where one medical provider will focus on prevention and chronic care management to reduce costs and know all the medications, treatments, and history to avoid medical errors.

Third, young adults will be able to stay on their parent’s insurance policy until they are 25 years old or they graduate from college, whichever is later. Iowans with pre-existing conditions will also continue to receive insurance coverage if they leave group insurance and enter the individual insurance market. In an effort to reduce costs and improve quality, the bill also creates a Health Information Technology System to create real-time access to medical records.

“Wellness and chronic disease prevention are key to reducing costs in our health care system. This is just the first step in making sure every Iowan has access to good health care which they can afford,” said State Representative Ro Foege, D-Mt. Vernon, who served as co-chair of the Legislation Commission that helped draft the legislation.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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