Key legislators say there could be a breakthrough in negotiations over exactly how the state may ensure more low-income working Iowans get health care coverage.
Democrats have been pushing to use available federal dollars to expand the government’s Medicaid program to provide coverage to up to 150-thousand uninsured Iowans. Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s proposed alternative creates a whole new “Healthy Iowa Plan” the is heavily subsidized by the state and federal government and requires a monthly premium payment from the roughly 90-thousand uninsured Iowans it’s designed to cover. State Rep. Dave Heaton(R-Mt. Pleasant) says once everyone is on “the same wavelength” negotiations may take off.
Legislators have a host of issues to resolve before their 2013 session can end — and lawmakers will come back to the capitol next week to continue debate on this topic and a host of others.