Statement on departure of Human Services director

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  17 June 2019

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader
on departure of DHS Director

“The Governor needs to immediately launch a nationwide search for a new Director of the Department of Human Services who is truly committed to watching out for the most vulnerable children and adults in Iowa.

“This means finding an advocate who will fight for more resources, push for stronger policies, and ensure that those policies are enforced for the betterment of all Iowans.

“After years of mismanagement and neglect by Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans, Iowans deserve a new Director with the backbone necessary to put quality care and proper oversight ahead of special interests.

“The damage they’ve done to Iowans includes:

  • Creating and supporting a privatized Medicaid system that is unsustainable, unaffordable and unaccountable. It’s so bad that the federal government has launched an investigation into whether officials in Iowa and other states are providing sufficient and appropriate oversight to ensure that people with Medicaid are receiving the care to which they are entitled.
  • Decimating the state’s successful family planning network, resulting in more unintended pregnancies, more risky births, more teenage mothers.
  • Inadequately funding mental health services for children and adults.
  • Allowing dangerous practices and procedures at Glenwood, Eldora and other at state-operated facilities.

“Finally, it’s especially bad news for Medicaid recipients, health care providers and Iowa taxpayers that the Governor’s Director is leaving (a) in the middle of negotiations with both out-of-state managed care organizations (MCO) and (b) when hundreds of thousands of Iowans are two weeks away from transitioning to a new MCO.”