Reviews | Covid deaths are on the rise again in nursing homes


So, # 1, we need to strengthen people’s rights. No. 2, we need a public option: a viable public offering plan for when the industry and the market fail, to step in and take over the facilities. Instead of having a viable plan, the market and the industry will never work out because there is no competitive model that will drive them to do better. We need to put in place competitive models of nursing homes and long-term facilities that can control private industry.

Can you give me the details of what a public takeover would look like? Let’s say there is a failing nursing home in a city. It’s run by a for-profit channel and features all of the issues you alluded to. What does it look like for the county or state to take over this nursing home?

In places like North Dakota, which has the only state-owned public bank, such an effort would be easier to execute because we would have the public capital to raise and buy a failing private entity. So instead of a public bank in New York, we still have public capital, we have emergency funds that are always available to us.

We can take advantage of this to enter and use a prominent estate, something we believe is only used for private real estate development. I think we can build public capital using eminent domain. And unless we exercise our right to do so against private markets, they will not respond. They will mine and mine because as long as you are profit making you have quarterly homework to return profits to shareholders.

What are the differences between models run by government or even worker co-ops and these big, for-profit nursing home chains?

The biggest difference is the accounting for public benefits. Most nursing homes are subsidized by Medicaid and Medicare programs, and there is massive fraud by private and even nonprofit organizations. They keep shoddy records, create secondary and tertiary markets, hire consultants, offer family walk-in jobs. So basically if Medicaid gives your grandmother a benefit of $ 100, by the time she hits it, she might get 10 cents on the dollar for that, or $ 10 out of $ 100. By publicly taking it on and empowering center workers, we keep better records and ensure that the majority of public benefits go to care, not the pockets of profiteers.

How politically important is this? We’re talking about lobbyists, we’re talking about billionaires who own some of these channels. We are talking about a whole network of politicians.


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