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Chronicle - News- Herald Weekly Question for Your Iowa Legislators

March 14, 2013
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Q:?"Knowing Governor Branstad's decision - what is your view of Medicaid expansion in Iowa?"


State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Garwin)

Article Photos

State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Garwin)
State Senator Steve Sodders (D-State Center)

"Currently Iowa has a program known as IowaCare for providing medical care to those who do not qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid expansion would replace the IowaCare program and the federal government is promising to pay 100% of these costs for the first three years, then taper off to 90% after that, with Iowans picking up that 10% difference.

" I've heard people refer to this offer by the Federal government as "free money". Of course nothing the government does is free. Medicaid Expansion represents a significant increase in federal spending, and of course those additional expenditure dollars will come out of Iowans' pockets.

" The problem of course is that our federal government is $17 trillion in debt, and is spending $3.8 trillion dollars a year with only $2.5 trillion in revenue, adding $1.3 trillion per year to that staggering national debt with no end in sight. Congress has not passed a budget in nearly four years, further proof that our federal government is dysfunctional and irresponsible. Accepting a promise of future payment from a government that is so far in debt just seems like a bad idea, once we expand Medicaid there is no going back, leaving Iowa's taxpayers on the hook if the federal government defaults on its promise. I believe we would be foolish to accept this promise of payment.

" I believe we need to fight for Iowa solutions to meet Iowa needs for affordable patient-centered health care."

State Sen. Steve Sodders (D-State Center) Did not answer. His recent column published March 1 in The Tama News-Herald and also available on website addressed the issue.



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