Rep. Ashley Hinson visits Marshalltown PHC clinic
U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) finally made a rescheduled stop at the new Primary Health Care clinic on the south side of Marshalltown Wednesday morning after postponing a previously planned visit about three weeks ago.
Hinson, who was first elected in 2020 and represents Iowa’s First District, spent just shy of an hour touring the facility before making herself available for a media interview, and several of PHC’s top leaders were in attendance to showcase the brand new building on Iowa Avenue West.
“You’ve been incredibly supportive of all of the Iowa health centers, so we’re just happy to have you anytime you’re in the neighborhood,” PHC CEO Kelly Huntsman said.
One of the key topics of discussion was the 340B program, which makes prescription drugs available to so-called “safety net” healthcare providers at deeply discounted prices. It has become controversial in recent years over claims from drug manufacturers that the program has been abused and is hurting patients. Hinson opined, however, that providers like PHC are exactly the types of entities 340B should be serving.
“Making sure that the program is preserved and not being abused is one of my top priorities,” she said. “Making sure that we have the right oversight on it while still being able to provide that benefit is going to be critical to the future of the program.”
Hinson has made stops at all of the federally qualified community health centers in her Congressional district and said she is “incredibly supportive” of their mission because of her belief in the importance of access to care for Iowans. The new PHC clinic is especially exciting as Hinson worked to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding for the $2.2 million relocation and renovation project.
“It’s great to see the full result of that, not only for the healthcare providers, OB, prenatal care, but also on the dental side. So they’re just kind of a one-stop shop for healthcare,” Hinson said.
Hinson added that the “care team” approach at PHC impressed her as it has increased efficiency and helped to improve patient relationships, and Marshalltown, in particular, has handled special challenges with the large variety of languages spoken here and the need for interpreters.
Hinson, who was headed to Des Moines after the conclusion of her visit, also took time to answer a few questions on matters of national concern like the Democrats’ proposed Inflation Reduction Act, which intends to takes aim at one of the most widely held concerns across the country ahead of the upcoming midterm election.
“The Democrats are doubling down on their priorities, and their answer when we enter a recession is to spend more money and raise taxes,” she said. “The Joint Committee on Taxation’s analysis shows that this will raise taxes on hard working Americans below that $400,000 a year threshold, so that breaks President Biden’s promise not to do that.”
The congresswoman also expressed concern about the potential addition of 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, who she believes will mainly be auditing and targeting “hard working taxpayers.”
“They will have more employees at the IRS after this bill passes than the State Department, the FBI, the Pentagon and Customs and Border Patrol combined. That should scare everybody when you look at how many people that is to go after taxpayers,” Hinson said.
Before she hit the road, Hinson offered her take on the news that FBI agents had raided the Florida home of former President Donald Trump on Monday as part of an investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot and Trump’s handling of classified materials.
“It’s an unprecedented raid, and I think the Department of Justice and the FBI absolutely need to give us an explanation for why they conducted the raid in the way they did,” Hinson said. “When (Republicans) take control of the House, we will provide rigorous oversight to make sure that these departments are not being weaponized to go after the American people… We will follow facts wherever they lead us, and I think it’s important that we do conduct that oversight because again, the American people need to be able to trust that these departments are doing their job (and) they’re not targeting people unnecessarily.”
Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255