DES MOINES — Gov. Terry Branstad's health care proposal for low-income residents was introduced Thursday in the Iowa House.
Branstad's Healthy Iowa plan would cover an estimated 89,000 residents with incomes below the poverty line. According to the bill, participants would have access to a primary care doctor within 30 minutes or 30 miles of their home. Participants would be responsible for contributions, though they could seek to avoid those due to financial hardship.
Branstad has proposed this plan because he opposes the Medicaid expansion proposed under the new federal health care law. Branstad says its long-term costs are unsustainable.
The state's cost for Healthy Iowa is estimated at $162 million per year, with the funding coming from the state general fund, local property taxes and other sources.
The Democratic-majority Senate has passed a bill that would expand the Medicaid program in Iowa. An expansion to include those at or below 138 percent of the poverty level would add an estimated 110,000 to 180,000 to the state's Medicaid rolls. — AP
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