The leader of a group that’s been lobbying state officials to expand Medicaid to cover up to 150,000 more Iowans seems to be offering an olive branch to Republicans who tout Governor Terry Branstad’s alternative.
Kirk Norris, president and CEO of the Iowa Hospital Association, spoke tonight during a public hearing at the statehouse.
“You have two proposals before you. Now is the time to internalize the fundamental reason for coming to Des Moines — to legislate,” Norris told members of the House and Senate who’d gathered to listen. “There is a vast swath of common ground on which to merge these two proposals.”
Others who testified at the public hearing clearly touted one plan over the other, but that wasn’t the approach Dr. David Carlyle of Ames took.
“The current proposals both have flaws,” Carlyle told lawmakers.
Some speakers criticized Governor Branstad’s plan for asking Iowa property owners to shoulder more than $80 million worth of the cost, while others suggested the federal government would not fulfill the promise to pay the full price of Medicaid expansion.
Democrats in the Iowa Senate have voted to expand Medicaid. Governor Branstad’s alternative has been outlined in a bill that’s under consideration in the Republican-led Iowa House.