WTF Whitmer?!?

Prevent and Protect

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer refused to sign a bill allowing nursing home residents to use cameras in their rooms. Many states allow cameras in rooms to protect residents and employees. Whitmer refused to sign the bill despite the Health Care Association of Michigan supporting the popular bipartisan bill. Whitmer did not offer a reason. She did not even release a statement explaining her pocket veto.

Experts, advocates, and caregivers all agree that cameras protect residents from harm. These cameras prevent abuse, neglect, and even protect caregivers from false accusations. Without cameras in rooms, many incidents would remain undiscovered or covered-up. Footage would increase safety and prevent Medicare fraud.  Cameras will also assist management in determining staffing needs.

Senate Bill 77 allows residents the option of putting a camera in their room. However, it is not mandatory. All roommates would sign off before installation. Of course, notice of the camera would posted at the door. Adequate privacy provisions would be in place.

Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake sponsored Senate Bill 77. The bill allows electronic monitoring in a residents’ room with their permission. In support, Runestad referenced the tragic story of Norman Bledsoe.  A fellow resident severely beat Beldsoe. The facility covered it up. Runestad said:

No Excuse

Why does she refuse to sign a bipartisan bill?  Does she get a lot of campaign contributions from the nursing home industry? Doesn’t she want to deter abuse and detect fraud? What is the real argument against it?
Instead, she pocket-vetoed a common-sense help for abused and neglected residents.  I wonder what her excuse could possibly be. I do not understand Gov. Whitmer’s unwillingness. Runestad agrees:
“Whatever her reasoning, I will not be detoured from working to protect our most vulnerable. Nursing home residents should be allowed to install their own video cameras. They deserve to be able to communicate with their loved ones and be protected from abuse.”
Many states allow cameras in nursing homes. I hope South Carolina passes similar legislation. The bill would clearly deter potential abuse.  As a nursing home attorney, the benefits of cameras outweigh any privacy issues. Cameras would relieve many of my client’s anxiety and stress. They are a good idea.