Iowa officials are asking President Barack Obama's administration for flexibility in complying with the federal healthcare act because of Medicaid cost increases expected even before the new law takes effect next year.
Gov. Terry Branstad told reporters Monday that Iowa's relatively low unemployment and expected increases state revenue have prompted federal officials to increase the share Iowa must pay for Medicaid, a state and federal health insurance program for the poor.
Iowa officials say insuring existing Medicaid recipients is expected to go up $35 million in the current budget year, $57 million in the year that starts in July and another $31 million in another year.
Branstad says those extra costs complicate Iowa's ability to finance the new federal law, which requires states to cover additional low- and middle-income people.