Governor’s health proposal advances in Iowa House

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad’s health care proposal for low-income Iowa residents has received committee-level approval in the Republican-majority state House, but the Democratic-controlled Senate still favors expanding Medicaid.

A House committee on Monday approved legislation for the “Healthy Iowa” plan in a party-line vote. The plan revamps an existing program for low-income residents and would provide coverage to an estimated 89,000 people. It would be paid for with a mix of state and federal dollars.

Branstad opposes the Medicaid expansion permitted under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Branstad says the long-term costs are unsustainable. He also says his plan will provide wellness incentives that will help Iowans.

Democratic lawmakers argue that a Medicaid expansion will cover more people and cost the state less.

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