A Republican candidate for governor is attacking President Obama, Governor Culver and Democrats in congress over the issue of health care. Chris Rants of Sioux City says Iowa taxpayers would see a $630 million increase in state spending under if a health care reform bill that’s passed a U.S. Senate committee becomes law.
“Congress is out-of-touch if they think states like Iowa can afford that kind of a cost increase,” Rants says.
According to Rants, “all the outrage being expressed” at town hall meetings this August may be obscuring “important details” like the cost to state government.
“Governor Culver, frankly, ought to be going to these town hall meetings and telling congress, ‘Iowa can’t afford it,’ because there’s no way our government can take a 60 percent increase in the Medicaid program,” Rants says.
Rants cites an analysis which concludes the plan that passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee would let almost 336-thousand more Iowa adults enroll in Medicaid. That’s where he gets that $630 million number.
“We currently spend as part of our state match a billion dollars on the Medicaid program. It’s a huge cost for state government, so this represents a 60 percent increase,” Rants says.
The federal government has traditionally paid for about two-thirds of the cost of Medicaid. Rants argues that if the federal government takes on more spending, in general, with health care reform, the feds may choose to reduce their support of Medicaid, forcing states to shoulder a greater share of the costs.