Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy McGuire holds a meet and greet at the Stuart Saints Center on March 22. McGuire shared her thoughts health care, mental health and education at the event.

McGuire talks health care, education at meet and greet

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Andy McGuire made a stop at the Saints Center in Stuart on March 22 to discuss health care, mental health and education with residents of Guthrie County. 

A native of Waterloo, McGuire became a doctor because she wanted to help people. If elected governor, she hopes to use her desire to help others to serve the people of Iowa. 

“I want to make sure that every person in Iowa feels like their government wants them to be the success that they can be,” said McGuire. 

As governor, McGuire promises that she would work to fix Medicaid to protect Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens, improve mental health services and make sure that kids all across Iowa receive a world-class education. 

Like many Democrats, McGuire believes that health care is a right, not a privilege and that the privatization of Medicaid is reducing access to health care.

“They’ve dismantled our Medicaid. I’ve been in health care my whole life, and it’s not easy to put that back together,” said McGuire. “When people say they want to fix it, (saying that) is one thing. I have the expertise to do it.” 

As someone who has administered health care, McGuire believes she has the knowledge to solve health care issues in Iowa. She believes this sets her apart from the other Democratic candidates. 

Also unique to McGuire’s campaign is a seven-point plan to combat Iowa’s mental health, substance abuse and addiction epidemics. The seven points include increasing treatment capacity and treatment options, attracting and retaining more mental health providers, expanding support for children and teens, removing the negative stigma associated with mental health and substance abuse, creating a new statewide Office of Mental Health and Addiction Policy, holding drugmakers accountable for creating the opioid epidemic, and securing funding sources to combat mental health and addiction. 

“We’ve turned our law enforcement into our first-line of mental health providers. They take people to jail to keep them safe, or they take them to the emergency room,” said McGuire. “Those are the two most expensive and worst places for somebody in a crisis.” 

McGuire recommends taking the money spent on jail and ER visits and investing it in community mental health resources. 

“We’re already paying for this,” she argued. “We could probably not pay as much if we would do this the right way.” 

When it comes to funding education, McGuire wants to make sure that teachers get the resources they need to make Iowa schools world-class. 

“Public education is so important. It’s what the United States and Iowa are based on,” she said. “Any child can be anything they want because we have fabulous public education.”

With an allowable growth rate of only 1-2%, McGuire believes that schools are not receiving adequate funding. 

“We’ve got to get back to where we have world-class education, and we can,” she argued. “It’s a fixable thing.” 

With the rise of shootings all across the United States, McGuire also shared her thoughts on safety in schools. She argues the best way to find a solution to the problem is to work with teachers and administrators who have the best idea of how to handle the situation.

“If I were on an acreage, I’d want a shotgun, but that’s not what we’re talking about,” she explained. “We’re talking about weapons of war, and we’ve got to care for our kids more than that.” 

Looking toward the future, McGuire has a hopeful vision of an Iowa where future generations can receive quality affordable health care, attend world-class schools, have clean air and water and get jobs with good pay and benefits. 

“I’m doing this for my kids and grandkids and your kids and grandkids so that they can stay right here in Iowa and be successful,” she said.

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