Uninsured in Iowa
In a 2004 house meeting campaign, W/SWIAF affiliate A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS) began hearing stories about the crushing burden of medical debt. Through research actions, leaders discovered that insurance companies were negotiating 50 – 60% hospital discounts for their customers which then led to grossly inflated hospital charges for the uninsured. An extensive period of conversation and negotiation with hospital CEOs led to a commitment from all area hospitals to discount their charges to the uninsured at the same rate those with insurance receive, about 55% on average. The two largest hospital systems also committed to expanding their charity care policies, resulting in an additional $3 million in assistance to lower-income patients in the first year alone.