The Star Tribune reports in U.S. easing of nursing home penalties could imperil Minnesota's crackdown on elder abuse:
The Trump administration is taking steps to roll back federal penalties on nursing homes violating health and safety rules, a policy shift that’s alarming state officials and advocates for the elderly who say it could undercut Minnesota’s emerging moves to crack down on violence and criminal abuse in senior homes.
In recent months, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has directed its regional offices to ratchet back some Obama-era enforcement practices that the nursing home industry has found most onerous. The new directives are likely to reduce both the number and severity of monetary penalties, even for violations that lead to serious injury or death.
“This absolutely takes us down the wrong path,” said Mary Jo George, associate state director of advocacy at AARP Minnesota and chairwoman of a new state work group on elder abuse. “It will make our work more challenging at a time when we are trying to take swifter action against facilities that are harming residents.”
On Twitter, Minneapolis activist and writer Stacy Burns was having none of it.
We'll be curious how Republican U.S. Senate contender Karin Housley positions herself on the Trump administration rollbacks on elder protection.
Chair of the Minnesota Senate Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee, Housley has been outspoken about recent reports of elder abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
She also declared herself supportive of Trump policies in Dave Orrick's article for the Pioneer Press, Washington County Republican Karin Housley wants Al Franken’s Senate seat:
Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a Democratic-allied group, quickly put out a statement criticizing Housley titled “Karin Housley Will Bring Trump-style Economic Agenda to the Senate.”
“Karin Housley has the same agenda that has made Donald Trump historically unpopular — tax giveaways for a handful of the wealthiest and tobacco companies while hardworking families feel the squeeze,” said Joe Davis, executive director of the group. “This is the wrong direction for Minnesota and our country. We need a leader who will invest in our schools, healthcare, and continue to make our state and country better for all Minnesotans.”
Housley said she voted for Trump and supports his policies.
As for Trump as a person and his style, she said, “I think everybody’s presidential style is different. His is not one that would be mine, but it’s his, so I focus on his policies. …
Does Housley support rolling back federal penalties for organizations that thrive financially but don't protect the elders in their care? Or is elder protection just a talking when an administration is led by the opposing party?
Perhaps some Trump policies are more equal than others.
Photo: Karin Housley, via Joe My God.
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