Governor Terry Branstad. (file photo)

Governor Terry Branstad. (file photo)

Iowa’s governor expects the Republican-led congress and President-elect Donald Trump to quickly repeal the Affordable Care Act and Branstad today said it’s unclear what may happen to the 145,000 low-income Iowans who now are covered by Medicaid because of the law.

“That remains to be seen,” Branstad said. “I think we’ve got to see how that works.”

However, Branstad says those 145,000 Iowans who are on Medicaid due to “ObamaCare” are unlikely to completely lose coverage.

“I don’t think they should be worried,” Branstad told statehouse reporters this morning. “I think they should recognize that the Republican congress recognizes that ObamaCare is unaffordable and unsustainable and it needs to be replaced with something that’s workable and affordable for the American population and that’s what we’re going to work together to do.”

The Affordable Care Act offered states additional federal funds if more low-income citizens were enrolled in government-paid Medicaid. In Iowa, Branstad and legislators created an “Iowa Health and Wellness Plan.” Iowans with an annual income up to 133 percent of the poverty level have been eligible to enroll under the “Medicaid expansion” that’s part of “ObamaCare” as a result.

“I have confidence that the new Trump Administration and the congress will indeed, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, replace it with something that’s more sustainable,” Branstad said.

Branstad suggested “more flexibility” for how states run the Medicaid program can yield cost savings.