The people of Iowa elected Gov. Terry Branstad. He appointed Rod Roberts to head the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. A few weeks into the job, Roberts eliminated 13 jobs. Ten were nursing home inspectors. Two were part-time lawyers who investigated complaints of abuse in nursing homes.
During this year’s session of the Legislature, lawmakers restored money for some of the jobs, but Roberts isn’t going to use it to fill those positions. Inspectors were needed, according to DIA staff and the federal government.
But the Department of Inspections and Appeals now says the inspectors are not needed and the department is able to carry out its responsibilities without them, thank you.
It’s almost impossible to evaluate that assertion because the department recently blocked access to statistical information about its inspections and trends from those inspections.
This means the owners of Iowa nursing homes have fewer regulators to deal with. Vulnerable Iowans have fewer regulators to protect them. And the people of this state are entitled to think that they’ve been wronged by their government.
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Editorial: Branstad Has Met His Nursing Home Inspection Promises