Avoiding Responsibility

The Intercept reported on tort reform measures giving liability immunity for nursing home owners and operators. Years of aggressive lobbying and donations have paid off. At least 27 states have implemented liability protections for nursing homes. South Carolina is next unless we speak out. Do nursing homes deserve blanket immunity?

The Government Accountability Office released a report in May 2020 titled “Infection Control Deficiencies Were Widespread and Persistent in Nursing Homes Prior to COVID-19 Pandemic.” Study after study proves the connection between nursing home staffing and Covid-19 deaths.

In March 2020, Trump gave the industry $10 billion through the Provider Relief Fund. No conditions. No strings attached for quality or staffing. Then the Trump administration reduced nursing home inspections and fines.

Half of all nursing home residents contracted the virus.  More than 1.2 million cases in nursing homes.

At least, 165,000 residents have died from Covid-19. 40% of the total coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

“The nursing home lobby is so well funded. They have the best lobbyists, they give all these contributions, it’s even more difficult to effectuate change at the state level, and it’s so hard to make changes because of these political contributions,” said Charlene Harrington, professor emeritus of social behavior sciences at UCSF School of Nursing.