Senator Says Medicaid Expansion Saves Money

Senator Tom Harkin and State Senator Jack Hatch address a press conference in Washington to urge Congress to include a public health option in any health reform legislation.


By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state senator says Iowa would save money and provide better care if the state expanded Medicaid.

During a hearing Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Jack Hatch of Des Moines argued the state would spend less if it took the federal funding available for a Medicaid expansion under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Hatch says the state would save because the 70,000 people enrolled in Iowa Care would move to Medicaid. Iowa Care is a limited benefit program for low-income Iowans funded through state and federal dollars.

Medicaid costs would be fully funded by the federal government for the first three years, with states eventually paying 10 percent.

Hatch also notes that Medicaid provides more services than Iowa Care.

Gov. Terry Branstad has opposed a Medicaid expansion, questioning the future costs.

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