The full details are out about the governor’s “Healthy Iowa Plan” to cover nearly 90,000 low-income Iowans who have a job, but still live just below the poverty line.
Representative Walt Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, told reporters the bill that’s been drafted calls for giving those Iowans access to a “medical home” that’s nearby.
“There may be some rural areas that we run into some issues,” Rogers said late this afternoon. “But our goal is to go within 30 minutes/30 miles of everybody.”
The current state program that provides health care coverage to nearly 70,000 low-income Iowans forces them to go to hospitals in Des Moines or Iowa City for treatment. The governor’s new plan would require those and about 20,000 participants to make a $10 a month co-payment.
“There’s an element in there — it’s called ‘My Reward Plan,’ so every person has kind of their own plan that they take charge of,” Rogers said, “and they can do things to reduce their own premiums, to reduce their own co-pays, like smoking cessation things.”
A combination of property taxes collected at the county level — including $42 million from Polk County taxpayers alone — and $23 million dollars in state tax dollars would be used to finance the new “Healthy Iowa Plan.” Rogers has been designated as the lead Republican to deal with this issue.
“This is not necessarily the plan that’s going to pass out of the House,” Rogers said. “What we want to do is look at it. We want to look at any ideas that Democrats have.”
This “Healthy Iowa Plan” is Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s alternative to what Democrats have proposed — to expand Medicaid to cover as many as 150,000 more Iowans. The top Democrat in the Senate this morning accused the governor of “dereliction of duty” for just now getting details of his plan released at the end of week 12 of the 2013 legislative session.