The Iowa Legislature passes Medicaid expansion compromise, but what’s next?

The Iowa House and Senate passed a compromise bill today (May 23) on much-debated healthcare reform, taking into account most all of the provisions included in the Senate’s bill to expand Medicaid as directed under the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010.

The bill will head to the Governor’s desk where he is expected to sign. The next hurdle will be obtaining a federal waiver with the Department of Human Services to implement the plan.

We see this as a positive step in providing much needed access to affordable health insurance for nearly 150,000 Iowans.  But the devil will be in the details as to how people are covered, what services are provided, and whether or not it’s a windfall for private insurers.

CCI Action Fund members will continue to call for affordable access to care for all and will be watching for the Governor’s signature, but more importantly the details of the plan especially as it applies to those within 100-138% of the Federal Poverty Level who will be placed into a “healthcare exchange” where their insurance will be largely subsidized under the compromise plan.  Individuals at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level will be covered by Medicaid.

This seems to be a good vehicle for providing much needed access to coverage, but CCI Action will remain vigilant through public hearings and opinions from the Department of Human Services on the most efficient way to cover the most Iowans.

We’ll keep you updated as the details pan out.

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