Democratic Lawmakers Seek to Expand Iowa Medicaid

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic legislators are pushing to expand Medicaid in Iowa.

Sen. Jack Hatch and Rep. Lisa Heddens, both Democrats, introduced legislation Tuesday that would broaden eligibility requirements for the state program, which covers low-income people, including children and the disabled. President Barack Obama's health care overhaul provides funding to states that do this expansion.

If expanded, as many as 150,000 people could be added to Iowa's Medicaid rolls, mostly low-income childless adults.

Gov. Terry Branstad has opposed an expansion, based on the cost to the state. The federal government would pay the full cost of the expansion for three years and then the state would gradually assume 10 percent of the costs for the new enrollees.

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