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State

Democratic lawmakers seek to expand Medicaid

DES MOINES (AP) — A push that Democratic lawmakers initiated Tuesday to expand Medicaid in Iowa would likely translate into new or improved health benefits for thousands of the state’s low-income residents.

Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, and Rep. Lisa Heddens, D-Ames, introduced legislation Tuesday that would broaden eligibility requirements for the Medicaid program in Iowa, which covers low-income residents, including children and the disabled. President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul provides funding to states that expand Medicaid.

“I think it makes sense financially, economically and more importantly (provides) the security that Iowa families need, so they don’t have to worry about being uninsured,” Hatch said. “We’re going to be relentless about getting this in front of our colleagues.”

Gov. Terry Branstad has opposed an expansion, questioning the cost to the state.

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