Details of “Healthy Iowa Plan” now available

News

April 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The full details are out about the governor’s “Healthy Iowa Plan” to cover nearly 90-thousand low-income Iowans who have a job, but still live just below the poverty line. Representative Walt Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, says the bill that’s been drafted calls for giving those Iowans access to a “medical home” that’s nearby.  “There may be some rural areas that we run into some issues,” Rogers says. “But our goal is to go within 30 minutes/30 miles of everybody.” The current state program that provides health care coverage to nearly 70-thousand low-income Iowans forces them to go to hospitals in Des Moines or Iowa City for treatment. The governor’s new plan would require participants to make a 10-dollar a month co-payment.

“There’s an element in there — it’s called ‘My Reward Plan,’ so every person has kind of their own plan that they take charge of,” Rogers says, “and they can do things to reduce their own premiums, to reduce their own co-pays, like smoking cessation things.” A combination of property taxes collected at the county level and 23 million dollars in state tax dollars would be used to finance the new “Healthy Iowa Plan.” Rogers has been designated as the lead Republican to deal with this issue.

This is not necessarily the plan that’s going to pass out of the House,” Rogers says. “What we want to do is look at it. We want to look at any ideas that Democrats have.” This “Healthy Iowa Plan” is Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s alternative to what Democrats have proposed — to expand Medicaid to cover as many as 150-thousand more Iowans. The top Democrat in the Senate accuses the governor of “dereliction of duty” for just now getting details of his plan released at the end of week 12 of the 2013 legislative session.

(Radio Iowa)