Miller-Meeks served in the U.S. Army as a nurse and doctor, practicing ophthalmology (the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders). She went into private practice in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1997 and has remained there since. She intends to continue her practice during her time in Congress.
Iowa State Senator (41st district), 2019-2021
2020 ELECTION CONTEXT
Miller-Meeks defeated former Illinois Congressman Bobby Schilling in the 2020 Republican Congressional primary to take on Democrat Rita Hart to succeed retiring Congressman Dave Loebsack.
Dave Loebsack (D), Retired
MOST RECENT PROFESSION
Iowa State Senator (41st district)
Miller-Meeks ran against incumbent Democrat Dave Loebsack in 2008, 2010, and 2014. In the Iowa State Senate, she has served on a number of committees, including the appropriations, commerce, ethics, state government, and Veterans affairs committees.
On The Issues
Miller-Meeks has offered proposals to combat the COVID-19 pandemic including: "free and vastly more available coronavirus testing," "a volunteer workforce through temporary licensure of physicians, nurses and physician’s assistants who have retired or whose licenses lapsed," a lift on restrictions relating to telemedicine, loosened restrictions on unemployment benefits, increases in SNAP benefits, low-interest loans to small businesses, and a temporary deferment on student loan payments. In tweets that have since been deleted, Miller-Meeks called for using herd-immunity and hydroxychloroquine to combat the pandemic.
Miller-Meeks has cited health care as being one of her top three issues to tackle in the House, saying that she wants to "Reform it to become affordable, portable, personal. It should be patient-centered and preserve the doctor-patient relationship with increased insurance oversight." During her 2014 campaign, in reference to the ACA, she said "there are ways we can change it, modify it, and/or, if possible, repeal it." During her 2020 campaign she has said that she would work within the framework of the ACA. She opposes a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system. She has said that she, “couldn’t sit on the sidelines as the Affordable Care Act jeopardizes the health care of Iowans.”
In 2019, Miller-Meeks pledged to join a bipartisan group of state legislators in writing a letter to the federal government urging respect for state medical marijuana laws and to remove it from the Schedule 1 substance list. Miller-Meeks has been given a C grade by NORML.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION
While in the state senate, Miller-Meeks worked to pass a bill that expanded access to mental health resources in schools.
In the state senate, Miller-Meeks supported a bill that allowed access to medications to help fight opioid addiction without prior authorization from the state's Medicaid program.
In the state senate, Miller-Meeks worked to improve transparency of prescription drug costs.
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
No notable information found, but Miller-Meeks is a Veteran.
As a state senator, Miller-Meeks worked to improve access to oral contraceptives for women, making it so women would not need to receive contraceptives on solely a monthly basis. During her time in the state senate, she also worked to improve access to prenatal care for legal permanent residents.
OTHER HEALTH CARE ISSUES
Miller-Meeks served as the Iowa State Health Director under Governor Terry Branstad from 2011 to 2014.
As a state senator, she worked to support legislation that would end the preauthorization of individuals on Medicaid to get CHANTIX (Varenicline) to stop smoking. During this process, the Medicaid director said that they did not need to continue pursuing the legislation as the requirement would be waived.
Relating to her practice as a physician, she has criticized the requirement of the ACA to keep electronic patient records as cutting down on doctors' ability to have face-to-face interactions with their patients.
DID YOU KNOW?
Miller-Meeks and her brother were severely burned in a kitchen fire when she was in high school. After seeing the kindness and attention given by a physical therapist during her recovery, she was inspired to pursue a career in medicine.