Ever wonder why states don’t enact tougher laws to protect the infirm and elderly in nursing homes? Like minimum staffing ratios which require a sufficient number of nurses and aides to take care of the residents. One reason may be that politicians don’t want to pass laws that might “bite the hand that feeds them.”
Last month, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, published a story about how “piles of political money – sometimes brazenly solicited by favor-wielding officials…have contaminated the making of public policy.” Ohio is home to one of the most powerful nursing-home industries in the nation, according to officials who have confronted it.
With the aid of increasingly generous campaign contributions, the industry was able to dictate its own payment rates for Medicaid services in Ohio for most of the last three decades, while remaining Ohio’s recipient of first resort for billions in Medicaid long-term-care dollars. The industry was particularly generous in the Ohio House of Representatives, where it contributed more than $377,000 just to the last two House speakers. Read the full article here.
The largest corporate, for-profit, nursing home chain in the state of Virginia, Medical Facilities of America (MFA), is located here in Roanoke, Virginia. MFA owns and/or operates 31 nursing homes throughout the state (click here for a list of facilities). This corporate giant, its officers and employees gave Virginia’s elected officials hundreds of thousands of dollars since 1996!
Check out what MFA, its officers and directors have given to the politicians who make the laws for the Commonwealth of Virginia:
MFA Corporate Officers and Employees (since 1996)