DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has informed the federal government that Iowa will create a state-federal partnership exchange to help Iowans buy health insurance, a requirement of the federal health care law.
Branstad sent the letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday. That was the deadline for states to declare whether they will pursue a state-based exchange, accept a federal takeover or seek some kind of combined approach.
Branstad cited the cost of a state-based exchange as a key factor in his decision to reject that option. He says the state-federal model will allow Iowa to keep some control over its health care system and minimize costs.
...because Republican Branstad tried to act defiant and say that he wouldn't create the exchange in Iowa, an act of spite against Obamacare.
However, as he was saying this--I had friends who were working to set up the exchange. One of them is a good friend who was hired to help implement the process. She said that the exchange was underway and Branstad couldn't stop it if he wanted.
All of this "letter writing" and communication to Sebelius could be saving face for the Gov. Who knows. I certainly don't know every machination in this process, but it appears that some Governors, including Branstad needed to rattle the cage a bit, in order to appease the unreasonable tea-party types. Brandstad had to, at least, appear as if he was fighting against it.