BRANSTAD MEDICAID: “Unaffordable And Unsustainable”

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The president’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, was approved in 2010 and upheld by the US Supreme Court two years later but Governor Branstad doubts the federal government will uphold its end of the bill.

Saturday, Branstad talked for the first time publicly about his Friday meeting with US Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.

Sebelius is trying to convince Branstad to expand Medicaid in Iowa.  Under the reform law, the federal government would pick up the cost of the expansion for the first three years and then 90-percent after that.

Iowa would pay the final ten percent from 2016.

The program would cover all adults with annual incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, which is currently $14,404 for an individual.

However, Branstad is rejecting the expansion, telling the Associated Press, “We want to cooperate with them as much as we can but we’re not going to buy into a ’60s federal program that’s unaffordable and unsustainable, because we think the whole thing in the end will either collapse or the burden will be pushed onto the states in a very significant way.”

The expansion would add about 150,000 people to Iowa’s Medicaid rolls.

Florida governor Rick Scott, a previously staunch critic of the legislation, is the latest legislator to change stance and now backs the expansion of Medicaid.

“Now the president’s healthcare law is the mandate, it’s the law and so we have a choice, and it’s not an easy choice, but my job is to worry about every Florida family.”

So far, 7 Republican governors have signed up to the plan.

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