By Kacey Ginn, editor at The Wright County Monitor,
Thursday, April 14, 2016 edition
On Friday, Iowa Specialty Hospital in Clarion hosted Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley took a tour of the hospital and spoke with personnel and community members about their concerns. Grassley said that on days when there are no votes in the Senate, he comes back to Iowa. “When we had our 2-week recess, I was in 19 different counties,” he said. “If you’re going to be a representative of the people, you have to know what’s on people’s minds.”
Grassley sits on the Senate Finance Subcommittee for Health Care. Some hospital personnel asked the senator about health care issues, such as the status of the critical access hospital designation, which gives reimbursement for Medicaid costs for certain rural hospitals like Clarion’s, and the 340B program, which requires drug companies to provide critical access hospitals and other entities with discounted medicines. The latter has been under some federal scrutiny. “Quite frankly I think the program is being changed so it doesn’t have the waste, fraud and abuse we’ve found in it,” Grassley said.
Other issues he was asked about on his visit included housing programs for rural communities, the Affordable Care Act, the opioid epidemic, and energy cooperatives. Grassley consulted the list of issues mentioned and said that whenever he visits a place like the hospital, he writes down people’s concerns and sends the list to everybody in his office.