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Many Health Care Bills Become Law but Birth Control Proposals Stall

Some of the governor’s health care related proposals cleared the 2023 legislature before it adjourned this week, but others, like expanded access to birth control, stalled. Governor Kim Reynolds has introduced a bill to make birth control available behind the counter at a pharmacy for the past five years.

Reynolds wanted to triple state funding for privately-run crisis pregnancy resource centers and add programming for prospective fathers in at-risk households. The facilities haven’t spent all the 500-thousand dollars in state spending approved last year.

The legislature also failed to approve the governor’s call to provide paid parental leave to state employees. A bill did get approved that creates four, state-funded scholarships for training in obstetrics, if the doctor agrees to practice family medicine in Iowa for at least five years. Democrats unsuccessfully lobbied for changes in the state’s Medicaid program which provides insurance to low income Iowans. Senator Janet Petersen, a Democrat from Des Moines, says women who deliver a baby or have a miscarriage should have a year’s worth of follow-up visits to the doctor covered.

Medicaid covers nearly half of all births and pregnancy care in the United States. Missouri’s Medicaid program, like Iowa’s, has covered pregnancy-related doctor’s visits for 60 days after the pregnancy ends, but the Missouri legislature is moving to extend coverage to a full year. Heart problems and other conditions that are heightened by a pregnancy often lead to serious complications in the months after delivery.


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