Supporters of Medicaid expansion rally in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Supporters of Medicaid expansion rally in Waterloo

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The debate continues on whether Iowa should expand Medicaid.  Under "Obamacare," the federal government would pay for 100 percent of the expansion for three years and 90 percent after that.

Governor Terry Branstad has created a different plan because, he says, federal dollars might not last forever to cover the state's shared cost of Medicaid.

Sunday, groups supporting the federal Medicaid expansion rallied at Lincoln Park in Waterloo.  They believe Medicaid expansion could benefit everyone because it would offer healthcare coverage to 150-thousand uninsured Iowans.  If those people stay uninsured, Medicaid expansion supporters say it would only further drive up healthcare costs for everyone else.

"We're also paying through our taxes, and our taxes have provided the payment for this expansion of Medicaid, and I'm a willing taxpayer.  I just want my money to go for what I want it to go for, and healthcare's one of the first things on the priority list," said Midge Slater, field organizer with the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans.

While Governor Branstad is opposed to the plan, a bill currently in the Iowa Senate includes a provision that if federal funding ends, Iowa could stop participating in Medicaid expansion.

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