Governor says “nobody’s going to get their way totally” in health care debate

(Radio Iowa News) – Republican Governor Terry Branstad is opening the door to a compromise health care plan that might merge his “Healthy Iowa Plan” with Senate Democrats’ plan to expand Medicaid to cover low-income, uninsured Iowans.

“‘We’ve got the senate that wants to buy ObamaCare lock, stock and barrel and we’ve got the House that doesn’t want to do anything,” Branstad says. “…We’re going to continue to talk to both House and Senate members about this and…it’s just like the other things we’ve been working on. If we’re going to get something resolved, nobody’s going to get their way totally.”

About 52 percent of the cost of Branstad’s “Healthy Iowa Plan” would be covered by state government and 48 percent by the federal government. Democrats counter that by expanding Medicaid to cover more uninsured Iowans, the federal government will cover 100 percent of that cost for the first three years and then 90 percent after that.

“That is one of the things that we’re willing to consider, provided there’s assurance that if the federal dollars are reduced, the Iowa taxpayers don’t get stuck,” Branstad says.

Democrats have offered to put that stipulation into a bill, but Branstad says it’s the kind of assurance that can only come from federal officials.

The governor made his comments this morning during his weekly statehouse news conference.