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Democratic lawmakers seek to expand Iowa Medicaid

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013

Under the plan, the Medicaid eligibility limit would be raised to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $15,400 annually for an individual. If expanded, as many as 150,000 people could be added to the state's Medicaid rolls, mostly low-income adults who don't have children. Some of those people are currently covered by IowaCare, which provides limited coverage to low-income adults.

IowaCare, the program White said she is currently enrolled in, is set to expire at the end of the year, though Branstad is seeking federal funds to extend it.

"If we don't get (Medicaid expansion) done this session, the 70,000 people who are in IowaCare will lose health insurance," Hatch said. "We want to replace it with a more robust health care program."

Health care advocates — including the Iowa Hospital Association, the American Association for Retired Persons and the American Cancer Society — spoke in favor of an expansion Tuesday at the state Capitol.

"Iowans deserve a better health care system than we currently have," said AARP state president Tony Vola.