Trans Iowans On Public Health Insurance Fear Impact Of Budget Change

May 13, 2019

Last minute changes to the state health and human services budget have raised concern for members of Iowa’s LGBTQ community and organizations that provide sex education services as well as abortions.

On this episode of River to River, a look at two changes to the budget, both of which have been signed into law by Governor Reynolds.

One change bars publically-funded health insurance such as Medicaid or Medicare from covering transition-related surgeries for transgender and intersex Iowans, while another prevents organizations that provide abortions from receiving government grant funding for sex education programs. Planned Parenthood is the organization most heavily impacted by this restriction.

Host Ben Kieffer is joined by the following guests:

  • Erin Davison-Rippey, state executive director for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
  • Rep. Joel Fry (R-Osceola), chair of the health and human services budget
  • Keenan Crow, director of policy and advocacy at One Iowa
  • Michelle Kell, a transgender Iowan and Medicaid recipient
  • Katarina Sostaric,  statehouse reporter for Iowa Public Radio

The conversation turns to renewable energy later in the program, with Jim McCalley – London Professor of Power System Engineering in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Iowa State University. McCalley leads a team at ISU who recently developed a computer tool to explore the future in terms of how to best support and transport renewable energy from coast to coast.