HEALTH PLAN: Governor Signs Expansion Into Law

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Governor Branstad signed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan into law Thursday morning in Mason City.

The plan will provide coverage to tens of thousands of uninsured Iowans, but getting it done took a lot of compromise.

“I’m excited about this it took a lot of work a lot of people didn`t think it could come together we could see this type of bi-partisan compromise,” says Governor Terry Branstad.

After work on both sides of the aisle, more Iowans will now have health coverage than ever before.

The Health and Wellness plan will help 150,000 uninsured Iowans, 17,000 are 50 or older.

“It provides them coverage, it ties into the governor`s healthiest state initiative it gives those particular,” says AARP Iowa State President Tony Vola.

Vola with says the plan will cut back on chronic diseases and help Iowans live longer healthier lives.

“We hope to get them to a lifestyle that they will maintain throughout the rest of their life and that gives them the opportunity to enjoy that portion of their life,” says Vola.

Getting it done, wasn't easy.

“It`s really been an epic battle,” says Senator Matt McCoy.

Sen. McCoy says it took compromise. Democrats wanted to use federal money to expand the state's Medicaid Program while Republicans wanted less federal involvement.

Sen. McCoy says the dozens of grassroots organizations that came forward, helped create bi-partisan support.

“This is the best of all worlds when we can bring house, senate and the governor on the same page to provide this coverage up to 138 percent of the federal poverty for these working Iowans who otherwise wouldn`t be able to provide healthcare,” says Sen. McCoy.

The new plan needs federal approval because the federal government would pay almost the whole cost.

However, Governor Branstad and other state officials have said they are confident the state will get approval needed.