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Under the Golden Dome: Work, Power and Health

There are around 650,000 people enrolled for Medicaid in Iowa. Around 170,000 are through the Iowa Health and Wellness plan.  Under a bill in the Senate, 40 percent of those on the Iowa Health and Wellness plan will need have part time work or volunteer to say on the program.

The work requirement has 11 exemptions. They include those who are pregnant, disabled, in rehab or enrolled in the Future Ready Iowa program. It’s estimated the implimenting the reporting requirement will cost $5 million in the first year and $12 million each subsequent year.

Last year the Children’s System State Board was created by an executive order from the governor. Part of their strategic goals include ways to provide services, treatment, and therapy to children.  

The governor proposes having a $5 million federal block grant funding programs recommended by the Children’s System State Board. To do that, it will take money that is now being spread among 25 state organizations providing services for adults. During a public hearing, those organizations argue taking money away from their mental health efforts to fund another effort doesn’t improve mental health in Iowa.  

The House of Representatives passes a bill setting up a children’s behavioral health system.  There are concerns about how it is funded and what priorities it has for children’s mental health.

A home or business using solar arrays to generate power is still connected to the electrical grid. If the customer delivers excess energy to the grid, their account is credited.  This is known as net metering. A bill in the Senate alters some of this arrangement and will increase the cost to most customers who are generating their own electricity from solar.

John Pemble is a reporter for IPR