Branstad's alternative healthcare plan fails to pass Iowa Senate


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On a party line vote, the Iowa Senate rejected Gov. Terry Branstad’s alternative to Medicaid expansion on Wednesday.

The debate continues Iowa’s option to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Democrats favor expanding the program under the health act and taking the federal government’s offer to pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years with Iowa footing no more than 10 percent of the cost after the seventh year.

However, Branstad and House Republicans feel the federal government will not be able to keep its promises and prefer a different option.

The Senate’s 26-24 vote was just one day after the House passed the governor’s Healthy Iowa Plan on a narrow two-vote margin, 51-49.

The issue could eventually come to a 10-member conference committee made up of members from both houses. Yet, such a group could only form if the bill fails to pass both houses three times.

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