Official Press Release

     Press contact, Jane Hudson,
Executive Director, Disability Rights Iowa,
jhudson@driowa.org;
515-278-2502 x 20

Class Action Lawsuit Filed to Challenge the Arbitrary Terminations of Home and Community-Based Medicaid Waiver Services

Des Moines, Iowa, June 13, 2017

Today, six Iowans with significant disabilities filed a class action lawsuit in federal court to stop Governor Kim Reynolds and Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer from arbitrarily terminating or reducing the Medicaid services they depend on to stay in their homes in the community.  If it were not for these services, the Plaintiffs and others like them would be confined in hospitals, nursing facilities or intermediate care facilities.

Since former Governor Branstad and Director Palmer handed over Iowa’s Medicaid system to private for-profit managed care companies on April 1, 2016, the companies have complained that they have lost millions of dollars. The State has bailed them out at least twice.  The companies have also tried to contain their costs by paying the least amount possible for home and community-based waiver services even though the actual needs for these services are much greater.

Cutting costs in the absence of changes in condition and without notice to the recipients violates the law and the constitution.

The complaint alleges that the Defendants have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Medicaid Act.  In addition, the Defendants have violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Iowa Constitution, and the Medicaid Act by failing to give the Plaintiffs and others legally-required notice of the terminations and reductions and the opportunity to contest such decisions.

The organizations providing legal representation to the Plaintiffs and potential class members are Roxanne Conlin & Associates, the National Health Law Program, and Disability Rights Iowa.

Click the following link to see Pleadings and related articles.