- Center for Medicare Advocacy Senior Policy Attorney Toby Edelman Testifies Before Congressional Committee re: Nursing Facilities and the COVID-19 Crisis
- Administration Asks Supreme Court to Strike Down Entire Affordable Care Act
- Elder Justice Newsletter – Vol 2, Issue 10 Now Available
- COVID-19: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents – A webinar series
Today, June 25, 2020, Center for Medicare Advocacy Senior Policy Attorney Toby Edelman provided invited testimony before the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee at a hearing entitled “Examining the COVID-19 Nursing Home Crisis.”
Below is the introduction to Ms. Edelman’s full written testimony.
I want to acknowledge the deaths of more than 50,000 nursing home residents and hundreds of nursing home staff from COVID-19. We grieve for residents, staff, and families who have been barred from visiting their relatives for more than three months.
These past several months have brought to fuller public awareness the deadly consequences of poor care, inadequate staffing levels, and treatment of regulations intended to ensure good care for residents as burdens on facilities that need to be eliminated. Although many of these problems in nursing facilities have been identified for decades, they have been made worse by recent deregulatory actions and the coronavirus pandemic. Essential changes are needed.
From its earliest days, the Trump Administration has taken steps to weaken and dismantle the regulations and guidance that have been developed over the past 30 years to implement and enforce the federal Nursing Home Reform Law. Many of the most significant changes were made to the enforcement system, without notice and public comment. Now, during the coronavirus pandemic and national health emergency, the Administration has unilaterally decimated longstanding statutory and regulatory protections for residents. It has waived multiple resident protections and suspended surveys and enforcement for all but the most egregious violations. The Administration could not have implemented such changes unilaterally in non-emergency times. Many of these changes have been sought by the nursing home industry over the years.
The full testimony is available at: https://waysandmeans.house.gov/sites/democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/files/
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Today several states and the Trump Administration are filing their opening briefs in California v. Texas, asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act. They rely on unsound reasoning to claim that when Congress reduced the penalty for not carrying health insurance to $0, it rendered the mandate to have insurance unconstitutional and the entire law must fall.
The Center stands strongly against this lawsuit, which would rip away health care from millions and eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, all during a pandemic. In May, the Center submitted an amicus brief, along with AARP and Justice in Aging, highlighting the devastating effects that striking down the law would have on Medicare and millions of older adults. The ACA significantly improved and is now woven into Medicare. It closed the Part D prescription drug “donut hole,” made many preventive services free, and strengthened the long-term financial solvency of the program. All of this is now at risk if the lawsuit “succeeds.”
The case will be argued at the Supreme Court this fall, with a decision expected by the end of the Court’s next term in June 2021.
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Elder Justice: What “No Harm” Really Means for Residents is a newsletter published by the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Long Term Care Community Coalition. The purpose of the newsletter is to provide residents, families, friends, and advocates information on what exactly a “no harm” deficiency is and what it means for nursing home residents. Our latest issue has real stories from nursing homes in New York, Minnesota, and Alabama.
- Read the full issue at: https://medicareadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Elder-Justice-Vol.-2-Issue-10.pdf
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Featuring Center for Medicare Advocacy Senior Policy Attorney Toby S. Edelman.
The landscape of COVID-19 response in nursing homes continues to evolve rapidly at the federal and state levels. Join the Consumer Voice, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Long Term Care Community Coalition and Justice in Aging as we review the latest updates, issuances from CMS, legislation, and strategies for advocates and families.
This series of webinars is focused on the impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities and their residents. The next webinar is scheduled for June 26, 2020 02:00 PM (All times Eastern).
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