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Representatives Rice, Meeks, Meng Urge House and Senate Leadership to Provide Additional Relief for Nursing Homes

Letter requests new federal funding for nursing homes and long-term care facilities be included in next coronavirus relief bill

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Washington, May 12, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) led a letter to House and Senate Leadership with Representatives Gregory Meeks (NY-05) and Grace Meng (NY-06) calling for additional federal funding in the next coronavirus relief package to address the dire situation in nursing homes and long-term care (LTC) facilities in New York and around the country. 

“Our nursing homes and long-term care providers have been some of the hardest hit facilities during this pandemic,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “We must build on the support allocated for them in previous relief packages and provide new funding to help them pay staff, acquire PPE, and increase testing. No expense should be spared when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable communities, and I thank Representatives Meeks and Meng for joining in this effort to support them.” 

“Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on our nursing homes and long-term care facilities, affecting many at-risk residents and front line staff,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks. “We must continue supporting these facilities with emergency funding so they can acquire necessary protective equipment and tests. I’m glad to join my colleagues, working together with leadership to bring these resources to our communities where they are most urgently needed.”

“I have called for more to be done to address the dire situation at nursing homes and other long term care facilities in New York, and I once again renew my call for doing everything possible to protect our elderly population,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “I’m pleased to join my colleagues Kathleen Rice and Gregory Meeks in this latest effort to secure needed resources in the next coronavirus relief package. From increasing PPE to conducting additional testing, much more must be done to ensure the health and safety of our most venerable individuals in nursing homes and long term care facilities.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below: 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                                 The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Speaker of the House                                                              Majority Leader

United States House of Representatives                                 United States Senate

H-232, The Capitol                                                                 S-230, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515                                                          Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy                                            The Honorable Charles Schumer

Minority Leader                                                                      Minority Leader

United States House of Representatives                                 United States Senate

H-204, The Capitol                                                                 S-221, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515                                                          Washington, DC 20515

                                              

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer:

We write to bring your attention to the dire situation in nursing homes and long-term care (LTC) facilities in New York and around the country, and we ask that you support these facilities, their residents, and their employees in the next coronavirus response package. 

With over 1.2 million cases and 70,000 deaths to date in the United States, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has spared no community. Nursing homes and other long-term care providers, however, have been particularly devastated by this crisis, and the available data, which experts say almost certainly understates reality, reveals the crisis in these facilities: at least 16,000 LTC residents and staff have died and tens of thousands more have contracted the virus.[1] In our home state of New York, LTC residents and staff account for more than a quarter of counted deaths.[2]

We thank you for your leadership in providing relief to LTC providers in recovery packages, through advance Medicare payments, boosted Medicaid rates, and assistance with infection control and spread mitigation efforts, but these facilities still face staffing shortages and are struggling to obtain the personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supplies needed to properly protect their residents and workers. As negotiations continue on the next coronavirus response package, we encourage you to support nursing homes and LTCs and include provisions to help these facilities retain and appropriately compensate staff, acquire necessary PPE, increase testing capacity, and prevent further spread of the virus. 

Thank you for your attention to this critical request. 

Sincerely,

 

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[1] Nadolny, Tricia L., and Marisa Kwiatkowski. “Our Patients Are Dropping like Flies:16,000 Dead from COVID-19 in U.S. Nursing Homes.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 1 May 2020, www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/05/01/coronavirus-nursing-homes-more-states-pressured-name-facilities/3062537001/.

[2] Wabc. “Coronavirus News: Nursing Home Deaths Represent 25% of All COVID-19 Fatalities in New York.”ABC7 New York, 20 Apr. 2020, abc7ny.com/nursing-home-homes-new-york-coronavirus-in-ny/6115589/.

 

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