ORANGE CITY, Ia. — Thirty-two years ago, a vehicle accident left Todd Mouw a quadriplegic, unable to feed himself and needing a ventilator to breathe.
Yet for decades he was able to live at home with the help of family, aided by medical staff who visited him daily to help provide 24-hour care.
That care abruptly ended when a for-profit company that Iowa hired last year to manage the state's Medicaid program announced that some of the staffers who had attended to Mouw all those years weren't qualified, and it wouldn't pay for the cost.
As he and his wife Cyndi futilely searched for qualified help, Todd's health dissipated. He had to leave his home for care, and on July 8 he died at age 53.
Now, Cyndi Mouw is speaking out, blaming her husband's death on Iowa's decision to turn over its Medicaid program to for-profit companies she believes are unilaterally denying or revoking medical services to potentially thousands of other disabled or elderly Iowans.
"If they're trying to do this because they need to save money? Well, find other places," Cyndi Mouw said. "And, yeah, I'm sure he's not the only one."
Her criticisms have echoed those of other families who complain that the private companies now managing the state's Medicaid program are denying care that the state once approved.
And the state's long-term care ombudsman said she has received hundreds of complaints from Medicaid recipients who are appealing decisions of the private managers hired by the state.
If you're not rich enough to afford all the health care you need that's your own fault: