Iowa Senate passes Medicaid expansion bill, Governor offers own plan
By Greg Janetka
DES MOINES, Iowa: While Republican governors in a number of states have recently altered their opposition to the expansion of Medicaid, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is standing firm, offering his own plan. The Democratically-controlled state Senate, meanwhile, passed a Medicaid expansion bill Monday on a 26-23 party line vote.
While upholding the federal Affordable Care Act, which makes the Medicaid expansion possible, the Supreme Court ruled that it is up to the states to decided if they want to opt in to that expansion. In opposing the expansion, Gov. Branstad says the cost of the program is unsustainable, something his fellow Republicans in the Legislature have reiterated. As the GOP controls the state House, it appears unlikely that the expansion will pass.
Branstad's alternative plan, known as Healthy Iowa, would expand the state's current IowaCare program, which is set to expire soon. Rep. Walt Rogers (R) is expected to introduce a bill in the House this week based on Branstad's recommendations.