Branstad affirms no Medicaid expansion

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 23, 2013 at 10:34 am •  Published: February 23, 2013

Under the federal health care act, the federal government would pay the full cost of Medicaid expansion for the first three years, then 10 percent of the cost would gradually be shifted to the state. Some Republican governors have expressed concern about the long term cost.

"We want to cooperate with them as much as we can but we're not going to buy into a '60s federal program that's unaffordable and unsustainable," Branstad said. "Because we think the whole thing in the end will either collapse or the burden will be pushed onto the states in a very significant way."

Critics of Branstad's plan have said expanding Medicaid in Iowa would provide more services to a larger number of people. An estimated 150,000, including those on IowaCare, could be added to Medicaid rolls if the state expanded the program.

Senate Democrats have passed legislation expanding Medicaid out of a subcommittee.

Branstad said the state is looking to revise IowaCare, which currently provides hospital care at just two hospitals, to offer services in more locations.

"That's what we're working at. We already have this. We want to improve it," Branstad said.


Lucey reported from Des Moines.

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