KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Iowa Lawmakers Discuss Reform And Increased Coverage For Children

An overhaul of the U.S. health care system would probably help maintain improvements already made in Iowa, Gov. Chet Culver and other health advocates said Tuesday, according to the Des Moines Register.

The Register reports: "The cost of Iowa's programs for the uninsured is a huge issue. The state faces a $903 million shortfall in the budget year that begins in July 2010, according to estimates from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency. Culver and other lawmakers have agreed to examine whether some government services can be streamlined to save money." The paper discusses children in the state: "Iowa lawmakers this year approved $5.7 million so that an additional 12,380 children can take advantage of health care programs. They have also pledged to cover more children in 2010. The goal is to cover 90 percent of eligible children by the budget year that begins July 1, 2010. ... Iowa already ranks high among states for its efforts to provide coverage for children. The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation in New York, last year ranked Iowa best in the nation for health care coverage for children" (Clayworth, 7/15).

The Iowa City Press-Citizen also reports on children's health care coverage: "Although expanding health care coverage to nearly 99 percent of Iowa's children ranks the state first in the nation, there is more to do, officials said Tuesday." The paper notes that "Iowa also faces the challenge of ranking 49th in the nation for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates, officials said" (Gallegos, 7/15).

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