DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad said he vetoed a plan to increase the number of ombudsmen who advocate for senior citizens in nursing homes because of a state agency's redesign.
The legislation — which Branstad vetoed in June — would have increased the number of the state's long-term care ombudsmen from eight to 10.
Branstad said he made his decision because the Iowa Department on Aging is in the middle of a redesign.
According to a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine, states should have at least one ombudsman for every 2,000 nursing home residents. To meet that standard, Iowa would need 27.
Branstad also vetoed legislation that would have required nursing homes to use any additional Medicaid money received next year to provide pay raises for some caregivers. Branstad said the state lacked the ability to check that homes were complying with such a requirement.
That decision drew criticism.
“I understand the governor's concerns about the state's capacity to monitor and verify compliance, but it can be done,” said Di Findley, executive director of the Iowa Caregivers Association.
“Elevating the compensation for those who work in direct care is consistent with one of his priorities to increase household incomes.”
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