Branstad to sign health expansion into law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad will this week sign legislation that expands low-income health care in Iowa.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says Monday the governor will sign the bill Thursday in Mason City. Branstad says the location was selected to acknowledge two lawmakers from the region — Republican House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer and Democratic Sen. Amanda Ragan — who brokered the deal.

Under the plan, Iowa will accept federal dollars offered to states that expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. The state will use the funding to create a new health plan for some poor residents and will pay the premiums for other low-income Iowans to get plans on the new health care exchanges.

The plan will require federal approval. Branstad says he is optimistic that will happen.

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