Gov. Branstad met with US Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius two weeks ago about expanding Medicaid in the state. He has so far rejected the program that could cover all adults with annual incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level saying it would be “unaffordable and unsustainable.”
On The Insiders, rep. Bruce Braley believes it’s a "golden opportunity" that is too good to miss and that Iowans are "perplexed" by the decision.
“I’ve talked to health care leaders who think it’s a horrible idea. They’re the ones dealing with Iowa Care’s program and its many deficiencies on a day-to-day basis; I’ve talked to business leaders that think it’s going to be bad for business and economic development by not taking advantage this opportunity."
He adds that it would save Iowans in the long run.
“It’s a golden opportunity for the state of Iowa to ensure thousands of Iowans that don’t have any healthcare coverage and give them the benefits that save us all money in the long run because the more we invest in preventative healthcare; the less we’re going to spend.”
The 2014 Senate contender hopes Gov. Branstad will reconsider, "I hope the governor continues to do what many of his republican colleagues are doing and that’s re-examine their position on this and look at the enormous positive benefit.”
So far, 24 governors support the expansion. Eight of those are Republican including previously staunch critic Florida governor Rick Scott.
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.