The Trump administration is set to repeal an Obama-era rule which enabled residents in nursing homes to sue their caretakers for mistreatment, a roll-back that appears to have no real explanation.
Though the Trump administration has made a habit of repealing as much progress made by its predecessor as possible, the choice to eliminate this extra protection for the elderly seems to be nothing more than spite.
In June, an agency within the Department of Health announced their plans to do away with a rule implemented during President Obama’s presidency which allowed the elderly and their families to take nursing homes to court over alleged abuse, neglect, or assault.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said that they planned to do away with the rule, an announcement that has been met with significant push-back. Today is the deadline for public comment concerning the plan, and based on those public comments, the CMS may or may not continue with their plan to do away with the rule.
Such protections were initially put into place to eliminate the ability of some nursing homes escaping legal action through deceptive language hidden in their contracts. These homes were able to stipulate in their contracts that disputes must be solved by a third party rather than in court, denying victims and their families of any justice.
Supporters of the rule change include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which argues that eliminating the rule would lower the price of nursing home care.
Opponents, including the AARP, say that the rule change is improper and should not be put into effect.
“Simply making the argument that we are a new administration and want to make sure corporations don’t have regulations that are forcing them to be accountable is not a good enough reason to change a rule that underwent extensive review.”