(Des Moines) Democrats in the Iowa Senate have moved forward with their proposal to expand Medicaid to cover an additional 150-thousand low-income Iowans. Senate President Pam Jochum was the manager of the legislation. The Dubuque Democrat told the Senate that the legislation will put Iowans who make 138-percent of the federal poverty level or less into the Medicaid program…meaning the working poor will get health care.
“These are Iowans that care for our parents and grandparents in nursing homes,” stated Jochum. “These are Iowans that care for our kids and adults with disabilities. These are Iowans that work in retail shops and convenient stores throughout our entire state.”
However, many Republicans argue that the Democratic plan to rely on the federal government to pay for the cost of the expansion is unrealistic. Republican state Senator Jack Whitver of Ankeny, pointed out one program…where Congress promised money but never delivered.
“This is according to the Barak Obama Presidential campaign in 2008. He said that when passing the IDEA, and I quote the Obama campaign: “Congress promised the federal government would shoulder 40-percent of each state’s cost of educating children with disabilities, but it has never lived up to this obligation,” stated Whitver. “Currently the federal government provides less than half of the promised funding.”
Democrats countered that Medicaid…being an “entitlement program”…always has gotten its’ allocated amount. The measure passed on a 46-42 vote in the Iowa Senate.
Republicans in the Iowa House are expected to take action on Governor Terry Branstads’ alternative plan, without the extra federal spending and with fewer recipients, once the bill is available. That sets the stage for a partisan showdown on health care in the weeks to come.
Iowa Radio Network
March 26, 2013