The federal government will pay 166-million dollars into Iowa’s “Senior Living Trust Fund” which is primarily used to convert nursing home beds into assisted living and cover Medicaid expenses. Most of the money will be used to repay 141-million that was taken out of the fund to cover other state expenses, a move legislators and the Governor made this past year to avoid additional cuts in Medicaid, which provides health care to poor and disabled Iowans. Governor Tom Vilsack announced the financial windfall this morning. On a related matter, the state is closer to filing a lawsuit against the federal government to protest Iowa’s lowest-in-the-nation Medicaid reimbursement rate — what hospitals and doctors are paid to treat the elderly. Vilsack says the Attorney General will choose one of two Washington, D-C-based law firms to help draft the lawsuit, a process that will take several weeks. The past summer, Governor Vilsack, Attorney General Tom Miller and the Iowa Hospital Association joined forces to take a different legal angle which they hope will yield more federal Medicare money for Iowa.
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