Change is Coming

I often write about sad and depressing news stories but lately there has been some good news. Maybe a change is coming.


In July, employers added almost a million jobs! Unemployment fell to 5.4%. Average hourly wages increased–4% higher than they were a year ago. The recovery is on its way. But we need to achieve herd immunity through vaccinations.

Health policy experts agree that CMS has the power to mandate vaccinations for nursing homes that receive Medicare reimbursements.  CMS’ regulatory powers include the Rules of Participation.  U.S. nursing homes agree to The Rules of Participation to operate nursing homes. Medicaid or Medicare payments in exchange for caring for beneficiaries. CMS can penalize facilities for violations of the standards, and repeated infractions can lead to loss of certification and removal from the federal system. however, that is extremely rare.


A new bill will forbid nursing homes from forcing residents and families to agree in advance to arbitration, waiving their Constitutional right to a jury trial. This preserves the right to sue over abuse, neglect, and financial and sexual exploitation. The bill also increases staffing and infection control safety measures. See the Senate bill.

“Families must have faith that loved ones receiving long-term care or care after a hospital stay will be safe and receive good-quality care,” Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement. “The pandemic, myriad reports of abuse, and critical failures during natural disasters have shattered that foundation of trust and safety.”

Medicaid Expansion

Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson can no longer deny Medicaid health care to thousands of eligible adults. Missouri voters last year approved a state constitutional amendment expanding access to the government health care program to an estimated 275,000 more low-income adults. Not sure why he wanted to prevent his own voters from having access to health care…