Governor Tom Vilsack wiped out a portion of the 61-millon dollar plan for erasing the red ink in the state’s Medicaid program. Thousands more Iowans have signed up for government-paid health insurance than was expected, and lawmakers passed a bill that dips into a couple of special state accounts to cover the unexpected expense. They also wanted to have Medicaid patients pay two dollars rather than just a buck as co-pay on prescription drugs. Vilsack says that would increase costs for the neediest Iowans. Republican Senator Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny says he’s disappointed by the democrat Governor’s item vetoes.Lamberti says republicans tried to find a workable solution that avoided huge cuts in Medicaid payments to doctors, hospitals and nursing. Lamberti says the governor has created a bigger hole in the budget, and is just putting the problem off. Vilsack also vetoed the portion of the bill that said Medicaid recipients were to report monthly on any changes in income or household composition. The governor said it created more bureaucracy and would overload already swamped state workers with paperwork.
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