Abortion, Opioids Among Issues That Could Arise At Capitol

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As Republicans in control of the Iowa Legislature are focused on a state budget and tax cuts plans, other legislation is possible.

A ban on most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected may still receive a key vote. Last year, lawmakers outlawed most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The opioid epidemic may prompt a package of pharmacy reforms, including mandating a statewide prescription monitoring program.

Private insurance companies managing Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system could be required to make timely payments of claims and provide reasons for denying them under another bill under consideration.

Annual “backfill” payments totaling $152 million to local governments also could be reduced or eliminated, although cuts appear unlikely for the budget year beginning in July.

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