28 May 2020

Oh, Now I Get It

I wondered why Andrew "Rat Face Andy" Cuomo sent all those Covid-19 patients to nursing homes.

It turns out that it may have been all about the proverbial Benjamins, send the patients to the nursing homes and the nursing homes make big bucks, and there is no downside for them, because Cuomo inserted immunity provisions into pandemic legislation, because their executives gave big donations to Cuomo's primary challenge in 2018.

This is an awfully convenient turn of events:
As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York’s 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful health care industry group suddenly poured more than $1 million into a Democratic committee backing his campaign.

Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing-home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for health care industry officials, according to legal experts.

Critics say Cuomo removed a key deterrent against nursing home and hospital corporations cutting corners in ways that jeopardize lives. As those critics now try to repeal the provision during this final week of Albany’s legislative session, they assert that data prove such immunity is correlating to higher nursing-home death rates during the pandemic — both in New York and in other states enacting similar immunity policies.


And then came Cuomo’s annual budget — which included a little-noticed passage shielding corporate officials who run New York hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities from liability for COVID-related deaths and injuries.


Prior to the budget language, Cuomo had already temporarily granted limited legal immunity to doctors and nurses serving on the medical front lines. But the carefully sculpted passage buried in the state’s annual spending bill expanded that by offering extensive immunity to any “health care facility administrator, executive, supervisor, board member, trustee or other person responsible for directing, supervising or managing a health care facility and its personnel or other individual in a comparable role.”
Every time you turn over a rock in New York state you find a trail of slime leading back to the Governor's office.


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