Gubernatorial candidate tours Charles City

By Thomas Nelson,

Dr. Andy McGuire went from NIACC to Aromas and then to Iowa BIG North Thursday afternoon.

McGuire spent much of the time discussing her 7-point plan to combat Iowa’s mental health and substance abuse crisis.

The candidate for the Democratic nomination for Iowa governor spoke with a group of 12 people near the back entrance of Aromas.

“There are 600,000 at risk of not having access to health care. That’s not taking care of our citizens,” McGuire said. “That is absolutely a crisis.”

McGuire said that she knows what she’s doing with Medicaid.

“I know how to fix it on day one because I worked in Medicaid,” McGuire said. “We’ve got to make sure we put patients first, that we pay providers and we’re fiscally responsible.”

She went on to discuss mental health in Iowa, saying that Iowa was in last place when it comes to mental health coverage among the states.

“If you talk to the sheriffs, we’ve turned our law enforcement into our first line of health providers and that’s not right,” McGuire said. “It’s more expensive to put someone in an emergency room or in jail.

“If took that money and put it into community mental health, we could actually do something to help our citizens,” McGuire said.

She also criticised Gov. Kim Reynolds.

“She’s not working with our legislators,” McGuire said. “That’s not how you govern.”

One-party government isn’t good for anybody, McGuire said, referring to Iowa’s Republican-control House, Senate and governor’s office.

“Everybody talks about a blue wave. The only way that blue wave happens is if all of us are knocking doors,” she said.

McGuire took questions from the audience about gun control, the state’s public employee retirement system, education, housing and the master matrix that determines whether construction permits are issued for  confinement animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

She talked about the Parkland students and said military-style weapons shouldn’t be in the hands of every citizen, and about common sense gun control.

“I have friends that hunt and I think that’s great,” McGuire said. “That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about these guns that are weapons of war.”

She went over the importance of education and teachers, and how curriculum and textbooks need to be updated because some are so old they don’t even mention 9/11.

“I would definitely make public education a priority,” McGuire said.

“I think I’m the best one to lead us forward,” McGuire said. “With what’s going on in the world, someone with the caring background that I have, I think, is really what we need.”