Governor Tom Vilsack today called on Congress to add additional dollars to its economic stimulus package to help the state pay the medical costs of the poor.Vilsack says the stimulus package as it’s now proposed would cut funding to Iowa by 50 to 60 million dollars when the need for medical services is increasing. He says Iowa needs an additional 15 to 30 million dollars in federal relief. Vilsack says the current economic problems add to a situation in which the federal government has already underfunded health care programs in Iowa.Vilsack, a democrat, says if the bailout money isn’t provided by the feds, the state would have to cut around four thousand people from its medically needy program to make up the difference.Vilsack says he’s looked at moving the medically needy to another program, but that would cost the state even more money.Vilsack says the influx of money would both help those who need medical care and can’t afford it, and would stimulate the economy of Iowa.Vilsack says the governors will push Congress to include the money in the stimulus package, while continuing to look for ways to pay the medicaid costs on the state level.
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