State healthcare program set to expire as lawmakers debate replacement plan
By Jacqueline Quynh, Multimedia Journalist - email
State Sen. Jack Hatch talks to healthcare and community members about proposals to help uninsured Iowans at Sioux City Public Museum.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
With the IowaCare program expiring at the end of the year, state lawmakers are looking at ways to make sure those who don't qualify for Medicaid still have access to health care coverage.
75,000 uninsured Iowans rely on the program. Governor Branstad's "Healthy Iowa Plan" would expand coverage to 89,000 people.
Opponents of the plan said it would cost the state at least $163 million. The federal government has offered to cover the costs of expanding Medicaid for the next three years.
The proposal is currently working its way through the state senate. Supporters said 150,000 Iowans would be covered.
"And I'm saying, that the state money is not necessary, and the federal government has it already obligated, it's already part of the discussions," State Senator Jack Hatch said.
But, the Branstad Administration points out that the state's share after three years could be up to $270 million.
Hatch says the senate has offered to place a sunset on the senate proposal. Meaning, if the federal government fails to fulfill its financial obligation, the senate will put in a place an alternative plan based on what the state can afford.
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