The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Iowa

November 14, 2013

Insurance enrollment numbers low in Iowa

DES MOINES — New data from the Obama administration shows that just 136 Iowa residents have successfully enrolled in health insurance plans using the troubled federal website.

Information released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that in Iowa, about 5,500 insurance applications have been completed on the website, for insurance to cover nearly 11,000 people. But only 136 were able to fully complete the process and sign up for private insurance.

The applications were made on the website between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2.

From those applications, about 2,100 individuals have been deemed eligible for financial assistance to pay for insurance and 4,500 will be eligible for low-income health programs like Medicaid.

An estimated 300,000 Iowa residents lack health insurance.

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  • Iowa workforce chief gave judge positive reviews

    Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert approved positive performance evaluations for the agency's former chief unemployment appeals judge, records show, undermining her public claims that he was a poor manager who decided cases slowly.

    Wahlert sharply criticized the agency's former chief administrative law judge Joe Walsh on April 3, hours after he filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. He contends that Wahlert laid off both him and his wife, who worked in another agency division, after he opposed Wahlert's efforts to change his job into a political appointment and to favor employers over workers in decisions.

    April 16, 2014

  • Cool, wet spring may ease western Plains drought

    A spring forecast of above-average rainfall in parts of the Plains region is raising hopes for a break in drought conditions plaguing much of the area.

    "It looks pretty good for conditions to improve into the early summer," said Sioux Falls-based National Weather Service hydrologist Mike Gillispie about predictions for precipitation in parts of Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.

    April 16, 2014

  • Regents considering Branstad order on settlements

    More than three weeks later, the Iowa Board of Regents is still figuring out how to comply with Gov. Terry Branstad's order to post employee settlement agreements online.

    In an executive order on March 24, Branstad ordered his administration and the regents to post all legal agreements that resolve employment disputes on websites that are easily accessible to the public.

    April 16, 2014

  • Broadband bill advances in legislature DES MOINES (AP) -- A legislative panel has backed a plan meant to extend broadband access to rural Iowans, though an agreement hasn't been reached on language about the placement of new cell towers. The House Ways and Means Committee voted 16-to-9 Tu

    April 16, 2014

  • Iowa Senate approves disabled veterans tax credit DES MOINES (AP) -- A bill meant to further relieve the financial stress of disabled veterans in the state has won the unanimous support of the Iowa Senate. The Senate voted 50-0 Tuesday to expand a homestead tax credit already in place for disabled v

    April 16, 2014

  • Iowa regulators to hold forums on investment scams

    Iowa's insurance commissioner has scheduled forums in Cedar Rapids and Davenport to educate the public on how to avoid investment and insurance scams.

    Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said a May 1 forum and panel discussion at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center would be limited to the first 210 respondents. A similar event is scheduled June 5 in Davenport.

    April 15, 2014

  • Panel asks managers to return for more questioning

    Two top managers at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services answered lawmakers' questions during a nearly two-hour hearing Monday but did not clarify the big question: Who authorized settlement agreements with former state employees in which money was paid for secrecy?

    April 14, 2014

  • Branstad: Action needed to protect Iowa students

    Gov. Terry Branstad has called on the Legislature to take action following an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found school coaches cannot be convicted of sexual exploitation by a school employee under current law.

    The Iowa Supreme Court ruled 5-2 Friday to overturn the conviction of a former Bloomfield basketball coach who had sex with a 16-year-old girl on his team, saying coaches without teaching licenses are not considered school employees and therefore cannot be convicted. In a statement Monday, Branstad urged lawmakers to pass legislation to include school coaches in the law to protect Iowa students from sexual exploitation.

    April 14, 2014

  • Branstad: Partisan politics behind investigations

    Gov. Terry Branstad says Democrats pursuing investigations into confidential settlement agreements, do-not-hire lists, and other issues are practicing partisan politics at its worst.

    April 14, 2014

  • Iowa man arrested in school bathroom camera case

    Authorities have arrested an eastern Iowa man accused of placing hidden video recording devices in a girls' school bathroom.

    The U.S. Department of Justice for the southern district of Iowa says 29-year-old Ian Dishon Isabel was taken into custody Friday. He was captured in Adams County in western Illinois.

    April 14, 2014

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