About 30-thousand more Iowans will soon qualify for government-paid health care. The expansion in the Medicaid program is part of a bill Governor Tom Vilsack signed into law yesterday (Thursday) afternoon). “This is extraordinarily unique. It is cutting edge and it is all about providing opportunity for quality health care to Iowans,” Vilsack says. The feds had threatened to withhold 65 million dollars for the state’s Medicaid program, but Iowa legislators and the governor struck a deal that will keep that money coming Iowa’s way and in return, the state will let more poor Iowans qualify for Medicaid, which is government-paid insurance for the uninsured. However, the benefits for that new group of 30-thousand Iowans are limited and they must pay a small premium. “This bill is ultimately about Iowans. It’s ultimately about providing health care,” Vilsack says. “It’s ultimately about maintaining the quality of life that we are so proud of in the state and that separates this state from so many states.” Officials in states like Missouri and Tennessee are reducing the number of citizens who are eligible for government-paid Medicaid insurance because the cost of the program has skyrocketed as the number of uninsured soared because of the recession.
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