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Insuring All Children Recommended As First Step To Universal Coverage

Armen Hareyan's picture


The IowaLegislative Commission on Affordable Health Care on Tuesday recommended thatlawmakers extend health coverage to all children in the state as the first stepto establishing universal coverage, the AP/Chicago Tribune reports. The commission -- composedof legislators, health care providers, representatives of the insuranceindustry and small businesses -- recommended that the state cover the estimated25,000 to 30,000 children who qualify for Hawk-I, thestate's version of SCHIP, but are not enrolled. Commission Co-Chair and stateRep. Ro Foege (D) said, "Our first step and our top recommendation for theupcoming legislative session is to make sure that all Iowa kids have health insurance."According to Co-Chair and state Rep. Jack Hatch (D), enrolling eligiblechildren would cost the state $20 million, assuming $30 million in federalmatching funds.

The commission also recommended that the Legislature determine the cost ofuniversal health care and identify potential funding sources (AP/ChicagoTribune, 1/8). Other recommendations include the development of"medical homes" for all residents, which would allow coordinated careto be provided at lower costs; the expanded use of electronic health records;and incentives for employers to offer wellness programs and health insurance toemployees. Hatch said that he and Foege intend to provide more specificproposals in legislation they are drafting (Leys, Des Moines Register, 1/9).

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