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Health Care Debate Continues in Iowa Legislature

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - There is little legislative consensus on whether to expand Medicaid in Iowa, but the state House is moving to ensure that lawmakers can take action on health care this session.

The Democratic-majority Senate has passed a bill that would expand the Medicaid program. The Republican-controlled House has shown more interest in a proposal from Gov. Terry Branstad to revamp an existing program for low-income residents.

On Thursday the House appropriations committee amended the Senate legislation to briefly say that the Legislature will approve a plan that improves patient care and reduces costs.

Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, says the amendment was done to keep the bill eligible during the legislative session. He says he expects to soon have legislation outlining the governor's proposal.

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