McGuire targets working-class families

Dr.+Andy+McGuire+poses+for+a+portrait+at+the+Java+House+on+Friday%2C+Oct.+6%2C+2017.+Dr.+McGuire+is+campaigning+in+Iowas+upcoming+gubernatorial+elections.+%28Ashley+Morris%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29

The Daily Iowan; Photos by James

Dr. Andy McGuire poses for a portrait at the Java House on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. Dr. McGuire is campaigning in Iowa’s upcoming gubernatorial elections. (Ashley Morris/The Daily Iowan)

Andy McGuire, 60, attributes her compassion to her father, a World War II pilot who earned a Distinguished Flying Cross during his time overseas.

“We grew up in a family, it was a large family — there were six of us, that learned that you should take care of other people,” she said. “Even if it was hard for you, or it risked something for you, so that’s why I became a doctor, and I think it explains, too, why I’m in politics.“

McGuire, a Waterloo native now living in Des Moines, said part of her political drive also comes from people who are hurting and people who aren’t able to get ahead.

“I feel like we need to help those people in government, and I don’t think the government right now is paying attention to those people,” she said.

McGuire said there are numerous ways government officials can express their concern about constituents. One priority, she said, is acknowledging the under-funding of education across the state.

“I always say, ‘I think Iowans are really reasonable, and if we had a year where we didn’t have the revenue or something, and people go ‘we all need to tighten our belts,’ we would all tighten our belts,” she said. “That’s what bothers me. [Iowa’s leaders] are not making it [education] a priority, and they can talk all they want about education, but if your budget doesn’t reflect what you’re thinking, then maybe that’s not your priority.”

The mother of seven children, McGuire said her kids, ranging from 20 to 30 years old, are her driving force.

“They’re the reason I do this,” she said. “I want them to be able to come back to Iowa if they want and be able to have good-paying jobs with good benefits, have a great education for their kids, be able have great health care and great access to health care.”

Health care is an especially important issue for the physician.

“Because I’m a physician, and I ran a health-care company, there are a couple things with health care that really stick with me,” she said. “There’s the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which I would put back that funding the first day.”

McGuire worked at Wellmark, the American Enterprise Group insurance companies, and the Meridian Health Plan, all in executive positions. Along with Medicaid, she also said mental health should be a priority.

“My kids have all lost a friend to either suicide or substance-abuse overdose — we are losing our kids, we are losing people every day, and we don’t have to,” she said.

Tyson Vitale, a field organizer for McGuire’s campaign, said he knew from the beginning that McGuire was what he called something special.

“She called me and said, ‘Hey, do you want to come work on my campaign?’ and I said, ‘I’m on my way.’ ”

University of Iowa student Grace Grinstead, 21, works as an Iowa City field intern for McGuire.

“She’s great on mental health, and because she’s a physician, she knows the ins and outs of Medicare and Medicaid and how those systems need improvement,” Grinstead said.

Grinstread said McGuire plans to freeze tuition at public institutions until she can bring in experts to figure out how to lower those costs entirely.

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