Gov. Terry Branstad enacted a major expansion of state-sponsored health care for the poor Thursday when he signed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan into law at a ceremony in Mason City.
The law creates a new public health care program for individuals making up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level and fully subsidizes the purchase of private insurance for those making up to 138 percent.
Although they’re now on the books, the new programs won’t take effect until 2014. It’s estimated that tens of thousands of currently uninsured Iowans will receive coverage under the plans.