Medicaid Expansion accepted by IOWA
The state of Iowa and Governor Terry Brandstard are slated to become the ninth republican led state to expand Medicaid as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
This week it was stated Iowa will accept federal funding to expand health care to low-income residents under a compromise reached between statehouse Democrats and Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, stated Senate President Pam Jochum.
Republican and Democrats reached an agreement on Medicaid Expansion this past Tuesday evening on an issue that the governor was a strong opponent of. Branstad strongly came out against the Medicaid expansion after the June 28, 2012 Supreme Court ruling, The Governor told The Huffington Post “We’re opposed to it and we’re not going to have any part of it.”
In Iowa Residents up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line — $11,490 for an individual or $19,530 for a family of three, for example — will receive the same benefits as state employees, and those premiums will be paid for entirely by federal Medicaid dollars.
Residents between 101 percent and 138 percent of the poverty line will receive insurance from exchanges created by the new federal health care law. Those residents’ premiums will be paid for with Medicaid funds in the first year, and also in ensuing years provided they accomplish physicians’ directives such as wellness check-ups and diet counseling.
If a person does not accomplish those objectives, he or she must pay a portion of the premium up to 2 percent of household income. “The governor was clear from the onset that two things needed to happen with regard to health care reform. First, taxpayers needed to be protected in the event the federal government did not come through on its funding promises.
Second, the governor wanted to ensure we were focused on health outcomes and making Iowans healthier,” Branstad spokesperson Tim Albrecht said. “This requirement was met in both cases under the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. … This is a modernization of Medicaid and will serve both patients and taxpayers at a superior level.”
Other Republican governors, including John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Scott of Florida, have attempted to put in place similar approaches, but have yet to win enough support from their Republican-controlled legislatures to pass a bill. The majority-Republican in the state of Arkansas recently joined with their Governor to approve an alternative version of Medicaid Expansion in the state.