Iowa Action Alert

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I just recently received an email from the Iowa Brain Injury Association sharing that Iowa legislation is proposing budget cuts that would put home and community based services for Iowan survivors of Brain Injury at risk. In order to prevent these reductions they are asking Iowans to contact their Senate Appropriations Subcommittee via phone calls and emails.

Here are some excerpts from the email:

The Issue:

  • Over the past weeks the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee have drafted a bill (now SSB 3297) that significantly changes the process and funding for services for Iowans with brain injury and their families.
  • In summary, the bill eliminates a portion of the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Brain Injury Services Program, the Waiver Eligible Component, which has provided funding to hundreds of Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Brain Injury Waiver clients and provides no funding for the program’s Cost Share Component.
  • It calls for a transfer of $2.5 million from the IDPH program to DHS/Medicaid to provide funding for those individuals who are currently being funded through the Waiver Eligible Component.
  • Additionally, it calls for the transfer of any carryover funding from the IDPH program, currently estimated at $2.6 million, to DHS.
  • The bill does not clearly state that this carryover would be used to support only Iowans with brain injury, who are on the brain injury waiver’s waiting list, and your support is needed to ensure that it does.

The Message – Talking Points:

  1. There are over 50,000 Iowans with long-term disability from brain injury and brain injury is THE signature wound of the current conflicts overseas.
  2. The potential for minimizing long-term disability for many Iowans with brain injury depends on timely access to services and supports in the home and community.
  3. Delaying such services and supports by being forced onto waiting lists for needed Medicaid Waiver services increases the risk of poor long-term outcomes for survivors of brain injury.
  4. Please change Senate Study Bill 3297 to ensure that ALL funds previously designated for Iowa Department of Public Health brain injury services be used to cover those currently served, for the elimination of the current brain injury waiver waiting list and brain injury waiver growth.

Who to contact:

The members of the Iowa Senate Subcommittee reviewing this bill are:

Senator Jack Hatch (D-Polk County)
jack.hatch@legis.state.ia.us
Home Telephone: 515-243-2033

Senator Bob Dvorsky (D-Johnson County)
robert.dvorsky@legis.state.ia.us
Home Telephone: 319-351-0988

Senator David Johnson (R-Osceola County)
david.johnson@legis.state.ia.us
Home Telephone: 712-758-3280

Senator Amanda Ragan (D-Cerro Gordo County)
amanda.ragan@legis.state.ia.us
Home Telephone: 641-424-0874

Senator James Seymor (R-Harrison County)
james.seymour@legis.state.ia.us
Home Telephone: 712-647-2699

Iowa has been a leader in advocacy from people with brain injury and has established many legislative initiatives to increase community based services. They are committed to fighting for services which affect the quality of life for people living with a brain injury.

About Penny R Miller, MS, LPC, CBIS

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