Anne Discher is executive director of the Child and Family Policy Center.
Tell me about the Oct. 2 State of Play event.
We often say that insurance is the key that opens the door to the health-care system. Without insurance — and we mean real insurance that actually covers services people need — nothing else that’s going on in the health-care system matters for people because they can’t access it.
There are two parts of Iowa’s insurance system that are pretty troubled right now: Medicaid and the individual insurance market. In both cases, our elected officials made policy choices that have led to the problems we’re experiencing. But in both cases, there are also absolutely things they can do to make things better.
We want people who come to the event to walk away with a better understanding of how we got where we are, and how we can build on the things are working — and there are some — to fix the stuff that’s just not.
Why is the Center interested in this topic?
Our shop has worked on Medicaid for a long time. It’s always been a priority for us because it’s such an important source of insurance for children — about half of all Medicaid members are kids! Traditionally, we’ve done a lot less work on the individual market. But when Iowa’s marketplace got so wobbly, we felt like people were looking for help understanding what was happening. We tend to be little wonky, but are trying to make the State of Play event interesting and useful. We really hope people will come. There will be cookies!