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Window Dressing: The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan is Medicaid Expansion in Disguise


When Iowa passed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, supporters argued it was a state-focused free-market Medicaid expansion alternative that would draw “free” money from Washington without having to implement traditional ObamaCare expansion. Those who oppose Medicaid expansion but trusted supporters who said the Iowa plan was a common sense workaround to ObamaCare expansion are sure to be disappointed.

Other than a few superficial tweaks and a clever renaming, the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan is a typical ObamaCare Medicaid expansion. It targets the same population of mostly working-age, able-bodied adults with no kids; uses taxpayer dollars to provide essentially the same services as Old Medicaid; is funded from the same pot of
ObamaCare Medicaid expansion monies and it similarly ties the hands of policymakers hoping for flexibility from Washington to control costs and improve quality of care.

Like any other Medicaid expansion, the Iowa plan has a glaring negative impact on patients, taxpayers and policymakers. Iowa has already passed its federally-approved Health and Wellness Plan, but that should not stop policymakers in other states from rejecting this ObamaCare Medicaid expansion. This report explains exactly why they should.

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