Letter to the Editor
Kudos to the Des Moines Register for theeditorial "Weak rules for homes worsen" [Feb. 1]. The Register assertion that "new regulations governing privately run residential care facilities … represent a threat to the health and safety of elderly and disabled Iowans," should raise concern for all Iowans. In a state where 15 percent of the population is 65 and older, a percent expected to rise over the next 25 years, such a threat may soon become a crisis.
Too often when we face issues such as those laid out in the editorial we feel helpless to do anything. However, noting the nursing home industry pays lobbyists $300,000 and contributes to candidates for public office, the Register helps us understand the root of the problem: "Money, access and influence."
Another case of private profit shaping public policy — to the detriment of the public interest.
Today, 15 Iowa organizations are coming together to address this problem of governing under the influence. Democracy for the Common Good: A Call to Action from 9:30 to 1:30, at Des Moines' First United Methodist Church, will explore how private industry is driving public policy, and what can be done about it.
Kathleen McQuillen, American Friends Service Committee