Debate over Medicaid Expansion

A state by state war over the presidentâ??s health care plan has come to Iowa.

At issue is whether state governments should expand their Medicaid rolls to give more Iowans health care coverage.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has made it clear that unlike some Republican governors, he has no intention of expanding the program in Iowa.

Branstad believes that while the federal government will pay for the program initially, eventually the state will be left holding the bag for additional costs. The governor has offered a more limited health care expansion plan.

Democrats take issue with the governorâ??s position.

At a press conference on Wednesday local democrats made the case for expanding the program.

â??Why do we have to do that when the federal government will pay the whole things for three years and then 90% after that? Like I said, over a seven-year time period, if we could do a shorter time period it would be even worse for his, but under a seven-year time period the governor's plan would cost seven times as much Iowa tax dollars to cover half as many people with half as many services,â?? said Steve Siegel, President of Southern Iowa Labor Council AFL-CIO.

Siegel says Governor Branstad said last July he couldnâ??t go along with Medicaid Expansion and he would develop an Iowa Program. Siegel says all heâ??s seen since then was a general outline of a program.