STATEMENT: Long-Term Care Ombudsman Cuts Endanger Older Iowans


For Immediate Release

August 24, 2017


Mazie Stilwell, Communications Specialist

(515) 246-2637

[email protected]



DES MOINES – AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement in response to budget cuts eliminating in-state travel for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen:

“On the same day that the Governor is celebrating the creation of 50 jobs in exchange for $207.8 million in tax breaks, it was brought to light that older Iowans are now more vulnerable than ever. Somehow, she can hand out even more of our already-decimated state budget to huge companies like Apple, but can’t seem to find room for the most basic protections for Iowa’s seniors.

“The Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman is already understaffed, and these additional cuts limit current staff from effectively doing their job. The elimination of in-state travel for the ombudsmen charged with investigating abuse and neglect leaves care facilities without much-needed oversight. In an era of money-hungry private companies running our state’s Medicaid program, we simply can’t afford to compromise on basic principles like safety and dignity. Governor Reynolds cannot claim to care about older Iowans with shameful actions like this.”

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees in Iowa including law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters, mental health workers, professional school staff, emergency responders, and many other workers. AFSCME Council 61 also represents home health care and child care providers across the state and private sector workers at Prairie Meadows, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Des Moines University, and ABM (Marshalltown).