Iowa Democrats Move Forward On Medicaid Expansion Bill

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

A Democratic effort to expand Medicaid in Iowa is moving forward, but Republican Gov. Terry Branstad remains firm in his opposition.

Democrats in the Senate Human Resources Committee on Wednesday approved a proposal to expand the state's Medicaid program. 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.

Branstad has opposed such an expansion and instead wants to seek a federal waiver to continue IowaCare, a program that provides limited benefits to 70,000 low-income adults using state and federal funds. That program is set to expire by the end of the year.

If Medicaid is expanded, as many as 150,000 people could be added to Iowa's rolls, including those on IowaCare.

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