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At a recent GOP fundraiser for Kim Reynolds, Sen. Joni Ernst stated: “What these presidential hopefuls love to talk about is socialized medicine. The quality care that we already have will go down, and the wait time for care will go up.”

Ernst’s fear tactics for re-election are out of touch with reality. Sen. Ernst should spend time listening to Iowans about their access to health care, especially in rural areas.

Women are especially at risk for lack of care options in rural areas in Iowa. One needs look no further than the closure of obstetric services in Marshalltown. Citing a 45% decrease in births, the Women’s Health Clinic and obstetrics unit (closed) Sept. 30. Women must travel to hospitals like Ames and Des Moines, both about an hour away to deliver their babies.

Despite having access to services in the ER, it is still a great inconvenience, and possibly dangerous, to not have access to labor and delivery services at a local hospital. ER visits also add a huge expense.

Sen. Ernst has an abysmal record when it comes to preserving health care. It would do her well to listen to the needs of Iowans and work to help Iowans, especially in rural areas, increase access to healthcare rather than working to cut access to women’s healthcare and repeal important legislation like the Affordable Care Act (ACA).