Under the Golden Dome: Insurance, Licenses & Energy 3/9/2018

Mar 9, 2018

As President Trump imposes larger tariffs for metal, he reaffirms his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Many agricultural products from Iowa go to Canada and Mexico.  As Trump repeatedly says he's willing to start a "trade war", Gov. Reynolds is worried about a backlash.

The governor says the president's actions will have unintended consequences for Iowa farmers and manufacturers.  However, she does support making some changes to NAFTA.

Getting an individual healthcare plan in Iowa is only possible by paying a higher premium to one insurance company, but a Senate bill may change this for some.  It allows Iowa Farm Bureau and the insurance company Wellmark Blue Cross and Shield to form an association health plan.  Anyone who is a member of Farm Bureau can apply, but the plans would not be subject to the Affordable Care Act.  This means the plan could exclude a person with a preexisting condition.

Since 2013, a person wanting to teach in the state's school system needed to pass one or more Praxis Subject Assessment tests to receive a teaching license.  A House bill passes removing this requirement and has a clause making it retroactive to 2012.  Anyone who failed the test since it was administered in Iowa would be eligible to apply for a teaching license.

In the Senate, a bill passes changing state utility laws.  It's an omnibus bill with many provisions, but the one receiving the most attention is about energy efficiency programs.  Most of the senate debate revolves around how consumers are charged to these programs, and will allow them to opt out should they choose.