Iowa Governor Signs Health-Care Compromise

The law creates a new public health care program for individuals making up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level and fully subsidizes the purchase of private insurance for those making up to 138 percent.
June 21, 2013
 

Gov. Terry Branstad enacted a major expansion of state-sponsored health care for the poor Thursday when he signed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan into law at a ceremony in Mason City.

The law creates a new public health care program for individuals making up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level and fully subsidizes the purchase of private insurance for those making up to 138 percent.

Although they’re now on the books, the new programs won’t take effect until 2014. It’s estimated that tens of thousands of currently uninsured Iowans will receive coverage under the plans.

The hybrid approach represents a compromise between Democrats and Republicans.

The parties, who hold majorities in the Iowa Senate and House, respectively, were at odds for much of the recent legislative session over how to respond to the federal Affordable Care Act, which directs states to expand existing Medicaid programs to encompass everyone earning up to 138 percent of the federal level — about $16,000 a year for an individual.

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