On Thursday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to sign into law a bill that overhauls the state’s healthcare system to accommodate changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
The legislation calls for state spending on various healthcare initiatives, including expanding government-subsidized coverage. Sioux City Journal reported the bill calls for a total of $1.7 billion on different initiatives.
“Our approach may be looked at as a new and effective, different way to provide health services to low income people and could be a prototype to be copied by other states,” Branstad said at a news conference, according to The Des Moines Register.
Iowa’s program creates the Health Iowan Plan, a state-subsidized healthcare option for those under the federal poverty level. While the plan has yet to be approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Branstad reportedly expressed confidence in the probability the federal agency will give the initiative the OK.
The legislation, which is set to be signed by the governor on Thursday, is also expected to alter current laws regarding abortion coverage. Currently, public insurance options pay for such procedures. However, the bill would give Branstad the authority to decide whether Iowa’s state coverage reimburses healthcare providers for abortions in certain cases, The Register explained.