Iowa Senate Dems Pitch Medicaid Expansion with Opt-Out
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senate Democrats are proposing a Medicaid expansion with an opt-out provision in case federal funding levels change.
Democratic Senate President Pam Jochum says Thursday that the plan would address concerns from Gov. Terry Branstad that the federal government can’t fulfill funding promises for a Medicaid expansion.
Democrats argue that expanding Medicaid would provide better coverage to more low-income Iowa residents. Branstad says the cost is unsustainable for the federal government and questions the long-term cost to states.
Branstad has offered an alternate plan called Healthy Iowa. This plan revamps an existing health program for low-income residents and would use state and federal funds to provide coverage.
A spokesman for Branstad says he will work with Democrats, but continues to oppose an expansion.