The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on residents of long-term care facilities. In addition to virus-caused sickness and death, residents have suffered severe loss from government-imposed visitation lockouts that separated residents from their families, friends, and other essential support persons. AB 2546 gives every resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility the right to in-person, onsite, and unscheduled access to a minimum of two resident-designated support persons during any public health emergency in which residents’ normal visitation rights are curtailed.
Background: The Britney Spears conservatorship case exposed deep flaws within California’s probate conservatorship system – demonstrating how easily people can become trapped in a conservatorship and how difficult it is to escape. People with disabilities and older adults are often caught in the pipeline to conservatorship, a system that strips them of basic civil rights and their ability to advocate for themselves.
California’s foreclosure process legitimizes the large-scale extraction of billions of dollars of wealth from low-income communities. When a homeowner can’t pay back their mortgage loan, the lender often sells the property at an auction, takes back the loan’s remaining balance, and the homeowner receives any surplus funds from the sale. As properties at auction sell for far below value, the defaulted homeowner often loses tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of accrued home equity.
This bill requires nursing homes to spend at least 85 percent of their revenues on the direct care of residents. This ensures the billions of dollars we pay to nursing homes as taxpayers is actually spent on the residents and not to pad the profits of already very rich owners.
The Problem: Residents’ lives are endangered because California allows unfit and unscrupulous operators to acquire and operate skilled nursing facilities. Operators no longer need a license to own or run nursing homes in California. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) allows chain operators to acquire and operate skilled nursing facilities without prior approval and permits them to continue operating facilities after denying licenses due to findings that they are unfit.