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IOS State Advocacy Issues

IOS is raising its advocacy voice with the Iowa General Assembly and other similar organizations across the state. IOS is a group of experts in cancer care and it’s time our voice is heard in Des Moines and around Iowa. Here is what we are working on for you:

IOS Outreach


Prior Authorization Proposed for Oral Oncolytics
IOS has responded to the Iowa Drug Utilization Review Commission’s recommendation that oral oncology agents be subject to prior authorization in the state’s Medicaid program. IOS emphasized in the comment letter that it is detrimental to cancer patients and contrary to Iowa law to subject cancer drugs to prior authorization requirements. 

June 24, 2015


IOS Commends the Iowa Senate for Approving Legislation to Limit Access to Tanning Beds
In light of increasing incidence of melanoma in Iowa, IOS supports SF 232, which would prohibit use of tanning facility devices by minors. At least 40 states already limit the use of tanning beds by minors. SF 232 has recently passed the Senate, and IOS urges the House of Representatives to approve this legislation to protect Iowans.   

Letter to House of Representatives

March 2015


IOS Supports Legislation to Prohibit the Use of Tanning Beds by Minors Under 18
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancer diagnoses in Iowa. To help combat this trend, IOS recently submitted letters in support of HF 257 and SF 248, companion legislation banning tanning bed use by minors under 18. Please read the letters sent to the House and the Senate.

Letter to the Senate

Letter to the House of Representatives

May 2013


IOS Urges Governor Branstad to Expand Medicaid to Uninsured and Underinsured Iowans
The Supreme Court may have upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, but they left a very important decision up to the states: whether to expand Medicaid to reach additional patients.  Now, states have the option to expand their Medicaid rosters to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) with the entire cost of the expansion covered by the federal government through 2016. Starting in 2017, states would begin paying for a small percentage of benefits, but will never pay more than 10% for the newly included beneficiaries. Increasing Medicaid enrollment in Iowa would mean covering an additional 20-30% of uninsured and underinsured Iowans, while keeping Iowa’s tax dollars in the state for this expansion. Declining this expansion will mean some of Iowa’s tax dollars are spent on increasing Medicaid in other states.

Please read the letter IOS submitted to Governor Branstad and the Iowa General Assembly in support of the Medicaid expansion.

Please submit your own letter to the Governor and your State Representatives. You can write your own or use this template.

Read a summary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

July/August 2012


Dual Eligibles, Medicaid, and Budgetary Issues
As the General Assembly winds down, the House and Senate are looking toward potential cuts in order to create Iowa’s next budget. The initial version of the House Health and Human Services budget included the elimination of Medicaid reimbursement for co-payments and co-insurance for the dually eligible. The House amended this provision out of the bill and the Senate did not include these cuts.

IOS understands how cuts in reimbursement could significantly impact access to care for this vulnerable population, and expect it to be a major issue in future budgets. IOS will continue to work with the Iowa General Assembly to keep these cuts off the table.

May 2012


IOS invites Iowa General Assembly members to participate in the Spring Membership Conference
IOS understands the importance of showing General Assembly members and other related organizations how IOS members provide cancer care to our patients. One way to teach legislators more about IOS members and our goals and objectives is to invite them to participate in our meetings.

Read the invitation IOS submitted to the Iowa General Assembly.

March 2012


Iowa House bill introduced to mandate coverage for medically prescribed hair prostheses
IA H 2207 was introduced on February 2nd by Representative Kurt Swaim (D-94). This bill requires insurance companies to provide coverage for a cranial prosthesis as prescribed by a physician for chemotherapy-induced hair loss.

Read the letter submitted by IOS to members of the Iowa General Assembly delegation in support of H 2207.

February 2012


Meet with members of the Iowa General Assembly Leadership on December 7 
Iowa General Assembly members are impressed with IOS and our advocacy efforts on the drug shortage issue. Minority Leader Representative Kevin McCarthy and Former Minority Leader Senator Paul McKinley have expressed interest in meeting with IOS members in their offices in Des Moines.

It is very important to take advantage of this relationship building opportunity with the State Leadership. IOS is an untapped resource in cancer care and this is the chance to let our legislators know that IOS needs to be at the table for oncology-related policy discussions.  Please contact Sydney Abbott at with your availability for Wednesday, December 7.

December 2011


Call for Op-Eds on the Hurdles to Cancer Care
IOS called on its members to notify state legislators of the issues impacting access to quality care in Iowa in the form of Op-Eds in your local papers. A number of IOS members took on the challenge and two IOS members had articles published.

Dr. Joseph Merchant was published in the Des Moines Register on October 27. See the article here.

Dr. Mark Hermann was published in the Dubuque Herald on November 9. See the article here.

November 2011


An Introduction to IOS and an Invitation to the 2011 Fall Meeting
IOS sent introductory letters to the Iowa General Assembly to introduce members to the Society and provide an overview of how IOS members can serve as a valuable resource in creation of state cancer care policy. IOS also invited state elected officials to join IOS for the 2011 Fall Membership Conference. Please see an example of the letter that was sent to our State elected officials.

October 2011


Get Involved and Take Action

As IOS builds relationships with elected officials in Des Moines, it is important for us to reach out to people we already know. Please take a minute to think about who you already know in your community, chances are you already know a state legislator!

For reference, here are the members of the Iowa General Assembly.
Iowa House:
Iowa Senate:

Having a difficult time placing people you may know?  This list might jumpstart some ideas. Think of people you may know from:

Do not be afraid to mention these relationships when requesting meetings. These personal connections help legislators understand how their policy decisions impact friends and neighbors.

Interested but don’t know where to start? No problem. We will set up meetings for you and help prepare talking points and materials.

Who are my Iowa State Legislators? Enter your address on the right side of the page to find out.

Request a Meeting with Your Legislators Would you like to request a meeting with your state legislators? Contact Sydney Abbott to get started.


Key Contacts

For any questions regarding IOS’s State Advocacy activities, please contact:
Leah Ralph

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