MEUSER, PA CONGRESSMEN RELEASE STATEMENT FOLLOWING PA STATE HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT ON NURSING HOME OVERSIGHT INVESTIGATION

March 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, members of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation, including Congressmen Dan Meuser (PA-09), Fred Keller (PA-12), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15), Mike Kelly (PA-16), Scott Perry (PA-10), Lloyd Smucker (PA-11), John Joyce (PA-13), and Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), made the following statement after the Pennsylvania state House announced an oversight investigation into the Wolf administration’s handling of nursing homes and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“The Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation thanks the members of the General Assembly for taking the necessary steps to investigate the Wolf administration’s disastrous policies relating to our state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Last March, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued guidance requiring nursing homes to admit COVID-positive patients. Today, more than half of the state's COVID fatalities have occurred in these facilities. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has repeatedly failed to investigate the policies that put Pennsylvania seniors living in long-term care facilities at risk. Pennsylvanians deserve a full and transparent investigation into what went wrong. Our offices remain committed to ensuring all information is brought to light so that the health and safety of our senior citizens are never again jeopardized by the careless actions of a state executive.”

Background:

  • On March 13, 2020, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance “For Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes.”
  • The March 13 guidance said that “nursing homes should admit any individual that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present” only if the nursing home can follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) quarantining guidance.
  • CMS Administrator Seema Verma later said, “[u]nder no circumstances should a hospital discharge a patient to a nursing home that is not prepared to take care of those patient’s needs.”
  • Despite these warnings, however, governors of multiple states — including Pennsylvania — issued guidance and executive orders forcing nursing homes to admit people with the virus, thereby encouraging the spread to those vulnerable populations.

The Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation has taken action to hold the Wolf administration accountable for its negligent nursing home policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

February 16, 2021: Sending a letter to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro asking for a report on guidance issued by the state Department of Health that called for admittance of COVID-19 positive individuals in long-term care facilities.

June 25, 2020: Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis and eight members of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro requesting a formal review of the impact of Governor Wolf’s March 18, 2020 guidance for nursing homes to readmit COVID-19 positive residents that would be made public. His administration’s initial response can be found here.

 

# # #