(TargetLiberty.org) – The COVID-19 pandemic exposed several broad issues concerning nursing homes around the country. New York and Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo became the focus of things gone wrong for his handling of extended care facilities and nursing homes throughout the state.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reported on May 13 that the COVID-19 virus killed nearly 200,000 residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term facilities.
The Human Rights Watch revealed that “potential neglect and prolonged isolation” in nursing homes “may have caused serious harm” to residents in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. It based its assessment on interviews with dozens of individuals and reports from independent monitors.
NBC News recently reported that America now knows its nursing home system is broken in the wake of the pandemic. The “devastation” created by COVID-19 provided a “rare opportunity” for the nation to make “big changes” to long-term care facilities.
As it turns out, New York isn’t the only state led by a Democratic governor experiencing particularly concerning problems associated with its nursing homes.
California Has a Huge Nursing Home Problem
California is home to about 1,200 nursing homes and provides long-term care for roughly 100,000 residents, the largest number of any state by a long shot.
An investigation by KPCC, a non-commercial educational radio station in Pasadena, California, reported that California nursing home operators were permitted to continue operating their facilities under current regulations even after state officials denied their request for a license. This is made possible if they appeal the denial – a process that can take years.
Cynthia Carrillo discovered the regulatory loophole after her older brother David died of COVID-19 in April 2020. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the Villa Mesa nursing home for giving him unauthorized psychotropic medication.
Tony Chicotel, an attorney working with a California group advocating nursing home reform, told KPCC The Golden State has “rolled out the red carpet for bad [long-term care] providers.”
“It doesn’t matter” if long-term care providers don’t meet nominal standards, he added.
Not all nursing homes and long-term care facilities offer substandard care. However, as New York and California demonstrated, all too often, they and our leaders fail some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. That needs to change.
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