Iowa’s older population is expected to grow significantly over the next decade. In the next three years alone, Iowa’s over 60 year old population is set to increase by 2.6% in Iowa for a total of nearly 637,500 Iowans.

In an effort to protect seniors, Iowa has begun to implement new elder abuse laws. Prior to this year, Iowa didn’t have any specific elder abuse law. We need to work together to continue to protect seniors from fraud and financial exploitation. The Legislature should also take additional steps to crack down on neglect and abuse of Iowa seniors.

Iowans with disabilities, mental health needs, or chronic health conditions also deserve access to quality, affordable care regardless of where they live in Iowa. We need to finish the redesign of Iowa’s mental health system to improve access and affordability. We also need to remove the strain on many seniors and disabled Iowans by providing more access to services in their home instead of being sent to a more expensive care facility.

After many years of work done by the Legislature to improve the health of children in Iowa, the work is finally paying off. Iowa is ranked first in the nation for children’s health by the Kids Count project by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. But the work is not over; we need to continue our efforts to guarantee every Iowa child has access to quality, affordable health care.