Iowa lawmakers could face pressure over Medicaid benefit cut

The State Capitol Building in Des Moines on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature could face pressure next session over its decision earlier this year to reduce a key Medicaid benefit for poor and disabled people.

Some GOP lawmakers have begun to question whether the cut to so-called retroactive eligibility, which helps new patients with recently incurred medical costs, was larger than intended. They've indicated the issue will be revisited when lawmakers return in January.

It's still unclear what Republicans may do, but the health care community is expected to lobby for some kind of action.

The benefit is a staple of Medicaid that helps newly eligible patients with medical bills that go back three months. The federal government recently approved a plan that reduces that benefit for everyone except pregnant women and children younger than 1 year old.

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