Dubuque Business Leaders Predict Local Impact from National Changes

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - What happens in Washington this year will be felt in eastern Iowans pocketbooks. That's the prediction from Dubuque business leaders.

Inside A.Y. McDonald Manufacturing Company, hundreds of employees are making plumbing parts that will eventually carry water in and out of homes.

A.Y. McDonald Vice President Sara Hasken said, "we're optimistic about 2014. Although the housing market isn't going to make a dramatic improvement, it is heading in the right direction. "

Starting this year, federal legislation requires all public buildings use lead- free water pipe fittings and valves.A.Y. McDonald is one of only a few American manufacturers who make the product. And it's suddenly in high demand. That's a big reason the company plans to hire more than 30 new employees this year.

In the health care industry, the impacts of the Affordable Care Act are the main focus

Mercy Medical Center President Rusty Knight said, "We're in an era of profound change, massive confusion and uncertainty."

Iowa's ongoing doctor shortage could also changes. including the way some patients see a doctor.

"In some places (in the United States) now people are actually seeing their doctor in small groups. People with related symptoms and chronic conditions. And apparently from what I've read it works well."

Changes that started in Washington, but are felt here at home.
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