Iowa Senate OKs bill to dismantle Medicaid privatization

Published 02/11 2016 01:26PM

Updated 02/11 2016 01:26PM

(AP) The Democratic-controlled Senate has passed legislation that would dismantle plans to switch Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program into private management, though the bill isn't expected to advance in the divided Legislature.

The chamber voted 29-19 Thursday for the bill, which would terminate Iowa's contracts with three private companies.

The bill was introduced amid growing tension in the Legislature over the future of Iowa's Medicaid program, which provides health care to roughly 560,000 low-income and disabled residents. Senate Democrats recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama and other federal officials asking them to end the privatization move, set to take effect March 1.

Although three Republican senators voted for the bill, the GOP-majority House isn't expected to take up the measure, which has also been criticized by Gov. Terry Branstad.

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