Thursday, Iowa Statehouse Democrats say they are offering Governor Terry Branstad an "olive branch" on how to best reform the health care system for poorer Iowans. But they weren't willing to provide all the details yet. "Let's not write the legislation at a press conference, o.k.?", said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal.
Gronstal said Democrats are willing to devise legislation that would allow the state to opt out of Medicaid expansion in the years ahead, if the federal government fails to continue to provide the necessary dollars. That's a key reason the governor has said he favors his own health care plan, instead of Medicaid expansion, because he fears the federal government's fast-growing debt will force budget cuts in the years ahead.
Gronstal didn't want to give details of what the alternative plan would be from his party. He also refused to say whether Democrats would craft their plan into legislation this session or if they would wait until the federal government reduced the funding. Although, Senate President Pam Jochum, a Dubuque Democrat, said she doubted the federal government would ever do that.
When asked by a reporter when Democrats would put together their alternative plan, Gronstal responded, "You're trying to get us to write the legislation at a press conference. We're not going to write it at a press conference."