AFSCME Iowa Council 61 - Every Day. Everywhere. Making Iowa Better.

A Major Win for Home Care Providers and Their Consumers in Iowa

By Danny Homan, President of AFSCME Iowa Council 61

August 29, 2013

Over the past several weeks, a powerful bipartisan alliance of Home Care Providers represented by AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and home care consumers showed the true power of grassroots efforts. Iowa’s individual consumer-directed attendant care (CDAC) providers faced elimination, but worked together to turn the tide. In Iowa, individual CDAC, which lets consumers control their own care, is the most popular choice of home care consumers by far: over 4,500 Iowa consumers have chosen it.

The Iowa Department of Human Services proposed an administrative rule that would have eliminated the individual CDAC option. Consumers would have been forced to use an agency or partner with a financial institution. Individual CDAC providers would have lost their jobs.

N. Jean Hayes of Waterloo, Iowa, an AFSCME Local 1100 member and an individual CDAC provider from Waterloo, Iowa, told AFSCME how essential her work is to her client:

My client, who is legally blind, depends on me to take her to her appointments, to keep her home clean and in order, to cook, to fill her syringes with medication, and to take her to church. I enjoy making a difference for her by making it possible for her to live in her home.

In order for the rule to go into effect, it had to go before the Administrative Rules Review Committee of the Iowa General Assembly, a committee consisting of five Republicans and five Democrats from the Iowa House and Iowa Senate.

AFSCME Iowa Council 61 immediately began to mobilize home care providers and consumers. Town Hall meetings were held across the state. Thousands of calls were made and doors knocked to organize a grassroots campaign. Home Care Providers and their clients made waves and waves of calls to the legislators on the committee, winning support from both Democratic and Republican legislators.

With bipartisan support for the individual CDAC providers and their consumers growing by the day, the Iowa Department of Human Services terminated the rule making process for this rule on August 28th.

This decision represents a major victory for individual CDAC providers, their consumers, and the bipartisan coalition we built that stood up for some of the most vulnerable Iowans. We will continue our efforts to be strong voice that protects providers and their consumers.

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