Gov. Branstad still opposed to Medicaid expansion


February 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A decision by the Ohio governor to expand the state’s Medicaid program has not changed Gov. Terry Branstad’s opposition to Medicaid expansion in Iowa.      Branstad’s spokesman said Tuesday that the governor still believes that raising the Medicaid eligibility limits would be too costly. Tim Albrecht said Branstad does support continuing the IowaCare program, a state and federally funded plan that provides limited health coverage to low-income adults.

Democrats in the state Senate have introduced legislation that would broaden eligibility requirements for the Medicaid program in Iowa, which covers low-income residents, including children and the disabled. President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul provides funding to states that expand Medicaid.   An expansion in Iowa could add as many as 150,000 people to the program, including those currently on IowaCare.