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Thu Jul 12, 2018, 11:14 AM


Sparse details on Iowa plans that bypass Obama's health law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Josh Crist made the two-hour drive to the Iowa Capitol in April to celebrate Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds' signing of a new health care option designed to lower costs by skirting requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

The 35-year-old farmer and electrician from Tipton figured the new plans offered through the conservative and politically powerful Iowa Farm Bureau were certain to reduce the more than $2,000 monthly bill he pays for his family's health insurance. He had feared the cost would climb as his existing policy expires, forcing him to buy from an ACA exchange without help from subsidies.

But nearly four months later, Crist is still waiting to see the fine print on what exactly would be covered under the Farm Bureau plans, and he's no longer sure he'll sign up.

"There's a lot of unknowns right now," he said.

The new Iowa option, which Republicans and some Democrats in the Legislature pushed through before knowing many of the details, represents another attempt by GOP-controlled states to chip away at some of the federal rules imposed under the 2010 law championed by former President Barack Obama. It comes as the Trump administration says it's freezing payments under an "Obamacare" program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses.


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