Iowa Democrats fix for Obamacare: Medicaid for all

Two Democratic state legislators say they have a plan to help the 72,000 Iowans who don't currently have health insurance and can't afford the increased Obamacare insurance premiums.

Sen. Matt McCoy and Rep. John Forbes want to have the state resume management of Medicaid in the state and allow Iowans who don't qualify for the program to buy Medicaid insurance at a reduced rate.

Of course, the two say to do that, they'll need approval from the Trump administration. And they say it will take a while to get the program up and running.  That means their plan-at best-wouldn't take effect until January of 2019.

They admit two big problems with their plan. First is that it would require a federal waiver. Already, the Trump administration has dragged its feet on approving a waiver proposed by State Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen.

Secondly, they say their plan must be approved by the Republican-controlled legislature. McCoy says that Governor Reynolds didn't start the privatization that is causing Medicaid providers to go out of business-that was done by her predecessor Governor Terry Branstad. But he says that Reynolds should want to end managed care as she's facing re-election next year.

McCoy and Forbes will introduce their legislation next year.  Right now, only a handful of Democrats in either chamber have signed on to support it. But McCoy says he's hopeful all of his caucus in the Iowa House and Senate will be behind their plan in January.

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