During his presidential campaign, President Trump argued that America “has to take care of its people.” Critics will now assert that 45 only meant people it is convenient to take care of.
The Trump administration has struck down long-standing regulations which governed the nursing home industry. The New York Times is reporting that penalties for abuse, neglect and medical malpractice will now go largely unpunished. Virtually all of the punishments on the books are being wiped clean.
Regulations protected senior citizens from workers who were “failing to protect residents from avoidable accidents, neglect, mistreatment and bedsores.”
Experts are stunned. Toby Edelman, a lawyer at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, told the NYT that Trump took rules that were already lax and abolished them.
President Barack Obama oushed for such regulations, and coordinated a push with Medicare to make nursing homes safer across the United States. 4 out of every 10 nursing homes were found to be in violation over a 5-year period.
The White House is pooh-poohing any suggestion of endangering seniors, saying in a statement that nursing homes should not be punished for “one-time” mistakes.
Shareblue penned a striking blog post about the news:
The Times notes one nursing home where the failure to monitor and treat a patient’s wound led to a pain-medication pump slipping through a ruptured suture, protruding from her abdomen. Under the Obama rules, the nursing home at fault — Lincoln Manor in Illinois — was fined $282,954. Under Trump, the home where a person died because of neglect would be fined less than $21,000.
This sets up a perverse incentive system that tells nursing homes they can abuse and neglect human beings up to and including death and still be exempt from many, if not all, fines.
Nobody likes a Federal bureaucrat nosing around a place of care, but what if a “one-time mistake” results in the death or torture of a nursing home resident? That facility shouldn’t be called out?
Trump’s careening-bus style of governance is leaving innocent people behind…and under its wheels.