State Rep. Beau LaFave this week cast his vote approving a plan to rectify the governor’s fatal error that undoubtedly contributed to the COVID-related deaths of nearly 2,000 nursing home residents in Michigan.
The mandate to put COVID-19 patients into long-term care facilities alongside uninfected residents was decided by the governor alone, without any legislative input.
“The fact the governor continues to insist COVID-19 patients belong in nursing homes where our most vulnerable reside is beyond me, and quite frankly, a blatant disregard for human life,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “This reckless policy never should have been implemented in the first place. Even worse, it should have never been allowed to continue as long as it has.”
The legislative plan requires the state’s Health and Human Services Department (DHHS), along with the state department for Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to complete an evaluation and report of the current policies regarding COVID-19 patients and nursing homes by Aug. 15.
Additionally, the legislation requires DHHS to develop and implement a new plan by September 1 creating at least one dedicated regional facility within each of the state’s eight health regions for use as COVID-19 patient facilities.
Finally, Senate Bill 956 protects nursing home residents by prohibiting the placement of individuals with COVID-19 in any long-term care facility unless it has a separate dedicated building where affected patients can be properly quarantined and cared for.
“Our loved ones are not expendable, and it’s time we correct our governor’s careless actions by standing up for the voiceless,” LaFave said. “We are better than this, and this legislation shows that we are better than this.”
The legislation, which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 74 to 34, now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
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