Iowa healthcare expansion measure approved

From Modern Healthcare:

The Iowa Legislature sent Gov. Chet Culver an expansion of Iowa’s healthcare system that backers said would include the 53,000 children in the state lacking coverage. The House approved the measure on a 95-0 vote and the Senate followed suit on a 39-9 vote. The measure expands the number of children eligible for coverage by a state program that pays for healthcare for children of the working poor. It would allow coverage for children in families that make up to three times the federal poverty level. Backers said that assures that virtually all children lacking healthcare now would be covered. The move is the final step in a three-part health care expansion. The final piece was projected to cost $10 million, but Sen. Jack Hatch, (D-Des Moines) said that dropped to roughly $7.5 million because Congress earlier this year expanded its children’s healthcare effort. Hatch said lawmakers are already turning attention to the next step in healthcare expansion. “This sets the state on a path where we can begin to expand coverage for adults,” said Hatch. “That’s our goal for next year.”

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