Des Moines —
· A State-Federal partnership will allow the Federal government to pay for initial exchange set-up costs and administer the cumbersome web portal, a federal call center and expensive web interfaces. However, the State would still be able to administer its own health care programs, oversee and regulate the insurance industry in Iowa, and put in place measures that will expand Iowans' ownership of their own health through the Healthiest State Initiative. Gov. Branstad assures Iowans that Iowa will not be forced or bullied into significant costs that sink our budget, and we will continue to maintain the high quality of health care access in Iowa that covers more than 90 percent of our residents.
· Gov. Branstad believes a full Federal takeover of our insurance, regulatory and health care systems doesn’t meet our needs. A quick look at the dysfunction in Washington, DC, underscores concerns of opening the door to the Federal government. Gov. Branstad does not believe it is in Iowans' best interests to have the Federal government interfering in their lives from thousands of miles away.
“Iowa is well positioned to meet the standards outlined by HHS thus far and maintain control of our insurance regulation and Medicaid eligibility responsibilities as allowed under PPACA. Iowa will partner with the Federal government in these areas of a Federal exchange,” Branstad concluded.
The text of the letter sent to Sec. Sebelius is as follows:
December 14, 2012
The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
200 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, DC 20201
Dear Secretary Sebelius,
Iowans deserve health care reform that improves care, lowers cost and most of all makes people healthier. These principles guide my actions on health care. Unfortunately, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has not advanced these important principles, which align with the goal I announced last year for Iowa to become the healthiest state in the nation. Our initiative is being led by the private sector, has been endorsed by the public sector and is working to improve the health of our population person by person, community by community.