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Iowa 4-5-2007 Meeting on Health Care

Community Meeting about Health Care - second of two held in April 2007 by Barack Obama

  • Senator Barack Obama initiated the meeting, two days after a meeting in New Hampshire.
  • He conducted it in Mason City, Iowa. His web site titles it an “Iowa Healthcare Forum”
  • The video, no longer available at, was being kept in two parts:
    • Iowa Healthcare Forum, Part One – 20:11 minutes
    • Iowa Healthcare Forum, Part Two – 22:52 minutes

Citizens are Strongly Dissatisfied with Current Health Insurance

The very strong dissatisfaction with the current health insurance is very clear from the results of the meeting. As seen below at the title “Answer to Senator Obama from Participants,” people who attended the forum do not want to keep a system that includes employer-based health care.

Meeting Excerpts about Current Negative Condition and Dissatisfaction with Current Health Insurance

Here is a list of topics covered in the Iowa meeting in the order in which they were mentioned by either Senator Barack Obama or by a participant in the community meeting:

  • 47 million uninsured
  • Half of all bankruptcies are a consequence of medical bills
  • Businesses straining under the costs of providing health (insurance) to their employees
  • Unions (having) all the negotiations revolve around .. health care
  • Family health care costs skyrocketing even if they have health insurance, up 87% over 6 yrs for ordinary families
  • 2 trillion spent every year, 50% more than any other industrialized countries, yet on many indicators of health we do worse than the countries that spend less;
  • Nobody really happy … with the exception of insurance companies and drug companies that are making enormous profits
  • Some people can’t afford the premiums or are spending a huge percentage of their income on health insurance premiums;
  • Catastrophic insurance coverage is almost like having no insurance at all;
  • Lack of insurance when not employed
  • Pre-existing conditions causing inability to get insurance
  • Company having a project every year to “shop it out” doing a search of available health insurance policies, but costs go up and benefits go down
  • Person pays higher premiums simply because she is older, even though she’s one of the healthiest
  • Telling lies about medical condition
  • Needing to frequently switch doctors
  • Aggressive push on the part of the insurance company to somehow not provide Obama’s mother coverage
  • Increasing efforts on the part of insurance companies of insurance companies to find ways not to pay
  • A large chunk of the costs of our health care system are devoted to the bureaucracy that (allows) insurance companies (to not pay) people’s (benefits);
  • In California one of four people who seek to get long term care that they’ve paid for are denied for all kinds of crazy reasons; it’s a fraud being perpetrated on our seniors
  • Having biggest fear of having a letter coming from the insurance companies that you are not insurable anymore
  • Want no impact of pre-existing conditions, but due to testing and the human genonome project all of us will have some kind of pre-existing condition
  • Some say we need portable health insurance, independent of employment status
  • Need for negotiation of drug prices
  • Medicare cannot negotiate with the drug companies

Answer to Senator Obama from participants

At the start of the meeting many people raised their hand for Senator Obama that their health insurance is provided by their employer

After about 30 minutes of discussion Senator Obama asked “how many people here want to keep a system that is employer-based health care … that it’s their preference?” Hardly anyone raised their hand.

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