Branstad enters state-federal partnership for healthcare - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad enters state-federal partnership for healthcare

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Governor Branstad announced a decision Friday morning to enter into a partnership with the federal government in regards to healthcare.

The exchange, part of a requirement through the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), will help Iowans buy health insurance.

Friday was the deadline for states to inform the federal government of their approach to complying with this part of the PPACA.

Every state had one of three choices. It could opt for a state-built, state-funded model, but Branstad said that was too expensive, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $16 million per year. The second option was a full federal takeover of the state's health insurance, but Branstad that was too intrusive.

Branstad opted for the third choice, a state-federal partnership in which the federal government pays for the model's set-up costs, but Iowa will continue to maintain control of its insurance regulation and Medicaid eligibility.

According to Branstad's deputy communications director Jimmy Centers, "Under the partnership that the governor opted for, the federal government will set up federal interfaces, a federal call center and the web portal for the exchange...and spare Iowans the cost of that expense."

Centers said Branstad has been talking with state officials over the course of the past several months to help determine his choice.

"Today's decision to enter into a partnership with the federal government means Iowans will continue to see high quality of care and access that covers over 90 percent of Iowans, while avoiding the massive budget costs it would take to administer the change by the state level," Centers said.

As for how much, if any, impact Iowans will see on healthcare, the details of the partnership are still being worked out.

State officials will now work with federal officials to construct the healthcare partnership.

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