Lawmakers turning their backs on aging, disabled

“The True Measure of Any Society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members” Gandhi

If this statement is true, then Iowa would surely be judged very poorly at present in its treatment of the aging and disability communities. Last year, the Legislature allocated $8.7 million in funding to reduce the Medicare Waiver waiting list; unfortunately Gov. Branstad vetoed that funding. We are told that he and his staff misunderstood what the Affordable Care Act and what Medicaid expansion would do.

There are currently more than 7,000 Iowans on the waiting list for Waiver Services (this is funding for services in the community at approximately 1/3 the cost of facilities and institutions), many of these individuals have been waiting for years for an opening. Recently Rep. Dave Heaton managed to get $4.8 million allocated, which sadly is not nearly enough

This year the Heritage Area Agency on Aging Older Americans Act nutrition program in East Central Iowa will be cutting 73,000 meals despite ongoing fundraising efforts. These meals are critical and help frail seniors stay out of a nursing home.

As Iowans we should be embarrassed and outrage that at a time when the state coffers are full tax breaks are going to large corporations; while the most vulnerable of our citizens are in danger of losing their independence.

I urge you to contact the governor’s office and your legislators and tell them this is not the way Iowans treat other Iowans.