The latest example comes from Iowa’s third congressional district, where David Young (R) is facing former state Sen. Staci Appel (D) to replace retiring-Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) in a toss-up seat.
During a debate last week on Iowa Public Television, moderator Dean Borg asked Young whether he supported Iowa’s Medicaid expansion, which was approved by federal regulators in December. “It seems to be working in Iowa,” Young conceded before noting that he would like to alter Obamacare to give states more flexibility in regards to Medicaid, though he did not specify what type of flexibility he favored.
BORG: Did you favor the expansion of Medicaid, which was included in Obamacare?
YOUNG: It seems to be working in Iowa. I would make sure in any regards to Medicaid they would have some kind of flexibility.
Expanding Medicaid to cover citizens who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level is a key tenet of Obamacare, helping low-income residents attain health insurance that they previously couldn’t afford. As many as 150,000 Iowans could receive health care because Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) embraced Medicaid expansion, albeit in a more conservative form.
Despite Young’s backing of Medicaid expansion in Iowa, he still tried to find other ways to criticize the law, such as claiming that premiums are going up. Premiums could go up in Iowa, as Young predicted, but they could also fall, as they have done in many cities and states. In fact, Obamacare has already helped Americans save nearly $2 billion on their premiums because of a new rule requiring insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care rather than other operating expenses.
Still, Young was asked twice by Borg whether he would support repealing Obamacare, as has been the Republican mantra for the past four years. Both times, Young refused to say he wanted to do so.