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Bob Krause

October 26, 2014
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

These are my views as to why Iowa veterans should vote FOR Jack Hatch for governor, and AGAINST Terry Branstad.

Veterans need to vote for Jack Hatch because of Branstad's work against the Iowa Veterans Home (IVH). IVH supports over 600 disabled and retired veterans. It is NOT a conventional nursing home. Elderly veterans reside there, but it is intended as a place for veterans of all ages that are wounded inside or out. As a consequence, there are some residents that have been there 15 to 20 years. This pattern, and the pattern of care that goes with it, is unique. A conventional nursing home resident may reside for six to 18 months before passing. War wounded coming back from the Middle East, plus Vietnam veterans where Agent Orange has compounded the effects of aging, need a specialized facility such as IVH for exceptionally long term care.

Terry Branstad first proposed that IVH be considered for privatization in the early 1990's. When he returned to office, the thought was still in his mind. He has tried to privatize various aspects of IVH and ended services necessary for long-time residents such as the wheel chair repair facility and recreational services. This is a cruel action for someone whose only other option is to watch television in a small room for years on end. He also closed the psychiatric wing even though PTSD needs are surging.

Branstad cut costs to provide cash for his massive commercial property tax cut. IVH has been re-purposed as a profit center on a conventional nursing home model by replace the missing state appropriations with federal Medicaid/Medicare dollars that do not cover specialized veteran care .Accordingly, services that make the IVH a specialized place for veterans have been cut. And, he has politicized the management of the facility by creating proportionately 10 times more at-will management than any other state agency.

In your lifetime, you may never know a person that needs the services at IVH. But for those that need it, it should be more than a warehouse for damaged people. That service member who did a sacrifice for you needs a chance to live a life with interest and meaning.

That is why I am voting for Jack Hatch in November.


Bob Krause


Veterans National Recovery Center



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