I wonder if Iowa Governor Terry Branstad had time to talk with his DHS Chief before he ruled on what abortions the Iowa Department of Human Services. Today Chuck Palmer decided he’ll ignore the intent of the Iowa Legislature and go ahead and keep paying for those abortions for fetal anomalies that the Legislature defunded back in 2011. State Representative Dawn Pettengill (R-Mt. Auburn) who led a legislator petition asking Palmer to cease taxpayer funding of such abortions told The Des Moines Register that she continues to disagree with Medicaid financed abortions:
Pettengill indicated Friday that she continues to disagree with Medicaid financed abortions. “As a member of the Administrative Rules Review committee and a legislator, I’m disappointed Director Palmer has decided not to implement the law and enforce legislative intent,” she wrote in an e-mail. “As much as I disagree with the logic that brought the director to that conclusion, he knows the tools we have to force (the Department of Human Services) to obey law are extremely limited. As a Rules (Committee) member, I have emptied my toolbox and done everything I could to make the rules match our intent.”
Governor Branstad who has campaigned as a prolife Governor, and has approved numerous prolife measures has the opportunity to back up his campaign rhetoric and overrule his DHS chief. Palmer works for him, and he needs to obey the law. As Tim Albrecht, the Govenror’s spokesperson said this is the Governor’s responsibility:
Iowa Medicaid Enterprises utilizes a contractor for medical services. The medical director and the review team are medical professionals working as contractors for an outside vendor scrutinizing reimbursement. The responsibility of all Medicaid contractors and the Iowa Medicaid Enterprises rests with the Department of Human Services, and ultimately, the Office of the Governor.
This is on Governor Branstad unless he chooses to do something about it.