The Iowa Senate approved legislation Monday night to add more than 100,000 low-income Iowans to the state-federal Medicaid health insurance program, setting up a showdown with Gov. Terry Branstad.
Senate File 296 was approved 26-23 on a straight party line vote with Democrats in favor and Republicans against. Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, was excused.
Senate President Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, the bill’s floor manager, said the plan will help Iowans who can’t afford to buy health insurance on their own. She added that Medicaid expansion will also help Iowans who already have health insurance but face hidden premium expenses of about $1,000 a year because hospitals currently must bear huge expenses for uncompensated medical bills