The State Health and Human Services Agency has issued a depressing first response to CANHR’s lawsuit to compel the state to comply with federal law and help illegally evicted nursing home residents. In its Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit, the State posits that the law does not require it to enforce the results of its own hearings where nursing homes are ordered to readmit residents who have been illegally dumped into hospitals. In essence, the State argues that federal nursing home resident protections require the state to merely produce worthless advisory opinions that are no benefit to residents or anyone else.
More incredibly, the State’s Motion also lists all of the enforcement actions (14 by our count!) it could take to help illegally dumped residents – all in the context of asking the court to relieve it of its legal obligation to actually use any of them to help anyone. A more tone-deaf response would be hard to imagine. The three illegally evicted nursing home residents serving as co-plaintiffs with CANHR in the case have each waited more than six months for the State to take a single action to enforce its Orders compelling the residents’ nursing homes to readmit them following a brief hospital stay. The State’s inaction, in light of the extensive list of enforcement options it commands, is utterly shameful.