June 7, 2024

Cassidy, Lankford, Colleagues Push to Protect Rural Nursing Homes from Biden Administration Overreach

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), and 29 colleagues introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to overturn the final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that imposes burdensome federal staffing mandates on long-term care facilities and will force many rural nursing homes to shut their doors. If the rule goes into effect, less than five percent of Louisiana nursing homes would be in compliance. 
“Severe workforce and nursing shortages have already hampered access to care. The Biden administration’s rule would only make it worse,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We are pushing to ensure seniors can rest easy knowing they can access quality care when they need it.”
“Oklahomans shouldn’t lose access to health care because of overly broad and unrealistic rules from Washington, DC. The Biden Administration’s staffing requirements won’t fix workforce shortage problems or solve care quality problems, but they will make it even harder for seniors in rural areas to get care in their own communities. Our seniors deserve high-quality care. Instead of expecting a vague blanket policy to solve nuanced problems, CMS should work with Congress to ensure quality care while also ensuring patients are not displaced due to arbitrary mandates. I am leading the fight to prevent one-size-fits-all requirements from forcing rural nursing homes in Oklahoma to close,” said Senator Lankford. 

“LeadingAge and our nonprofit and mission-driven members–many of whom have served their communities for decades and even centuries–share the goal of ensuring quality care,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes. “Mandates, as we’ve said repeatedly to Congress, to the Administration and to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are not the right approach to achieving it. We need real policy solutions and investments, not mandates. As part of our aggressive, multi-faceted approach, drawing on every available tool –legislative, legal, and regulatory–to both address the fundamental issue of building the long-term care workforce and halt the regulation’s implementation, we support the CRA resolution’s introduction in the Senate.”
Cassidy and Lankford were joined by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (I-WV), Mike Braun (R-IN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Katie Britt (R-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), John Thune (R-SD), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mike Lee (R-UT), and John Hoeven (R-ND) on the resolution of disapproval. 
Last year, Cassidy, Lankford, and 26 of his Senate colleagues sent a letter to CMS when this rule was first proposed, urging the administration to rescind the rule.