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Senator Richard Pan, Chair
Senate Health Committee
State Capitol, Room 2191
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 650 (Stern) – Support
Dear Senator Pan:
I urge you and the members of the Senate Health Committee to support SB 650, a bill that will bring much-needed corporate transparency to public nursing home spending.
California is paying more than ever before for nursing home care and it is not getting its money’s worth. Despite receiving six billion dollars a year through Medi-Cal, the care provided in facilities is often abysmal and public dissatisfaction has never been more acute. The COVID-19 pandemic has tragically underscored the dangerous conditions at nursing homes throughout California. Over 110,000 residents and staff have been infected with COVID-19 and nearly 10,000 of them have died from it.
The disconnect between the funds facilities receive and the care they provide has everything to do with the way owners structure their businesses to maximize profit at the expense of care, all without the public’s knowledge. Nursing homes increasingly set up “related party” businesses to siphon reimbursements that should have gone to care–while permitting owners to claim they are losing money and seek more and more taxpayer reimbursement. As we shovel more money to nursing homes, quality continues to decline. California has invested in nursing homes but nursing homes have not invested in improved care.
SB 650 promises to shed light on how nursing homes spend taxpayer dollars, so the public will finally know how much of its taxpayer dollars are being used to support nursing home residents versus how much is funding the lifestyles of billionaire owners. SB 650 is an essential piece of the legislature’s 2021 PROTECT Plan, a package of bills aimed at reforming nursing homes to improve state oversight, financial transparency, accountability, and ultimately enhance care for all residents.
Please vote yes on SB 650.