Not a Lexis+ subscriber? Try it out for free.

Health Care

State Net Capitol Journal: Iowa Governor Issues Alternative to Medicaid Expansion

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) last week unveiled an alternative to expanding Medicaid in the Hawkeye State. Under federal health care reform, states are given the option of expanding their Medicaid eligibility to cover people living at up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. In Iowa, that would add about 150,000 new enrollees into the system.

But Branstad opposes the expansion. Last week, he instead proposed replacing the state's current health care program for poor adults - IowaCare - with a new one called the Healthy Iowa Plan that would cover only about 89,000 of those currently uninsured Iowans. IowaCare currently covers around 67,000 people. Enrollees would pay a small premium and get care at specific clinics, which he said would be paid to keep people healthy rather than just to treat them when they are sick. Branstad also claimed the federal government would pick up about 60 percent of the tab.

Democrats quickly voiced skepticism, noting the federal government has agreed to pay 100 percent of the expansion cost for three years, and then 90 percent from that point on.

"His plan would cost us $50 million more and cover half as many people," Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal (D) told the Des Moines Register. "It's fiscally unsound."

Branstad also angered some Dems by comparing the uninsured to wedding guests at an open bar, saying everyone had to "have some skin in the game."

The governor said he has already pitched the idea to federal officials, who must ultimately approve or reject it. (DES MOINES REGISTER, STATE NET, IOWA CITY PRESS CITIZEN)

The above article is provided by the State Net Capitol Journal. State Net is the nation's leading source of state legislative and regulatory content for all states within the United States. State Net daily monitors every bill in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the United States Congress - as well as every state agency regulation. Virtually all of the information about individual bills and their progress through legislatures is online within 24 hours of public availability.

If you are a subscriber, you can access State Net Bill Tracking, State Net Full Text of Bills and State Net Regulatory Text. If you are interested in learning more about State Net, contact us.

To subscribe to the Capitol Journal and access archived issue go to the State Net Capitol Journal.

For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions, connect with us through our corporate site.