HB4220 Passed the House on Second Reading. Despite Our Calls and Letters
Residents don't have a voice when the issue being stifled by the bill is the group that IS their voice. Facilities have provider groups money, power and influence. Residents have the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program. At least, they are supposed to. Apparently now, facilities can approach the legislature to amend that program to make it more comfortable for them.
Even so, This is a good news/bad news post. Two heroes emerged yesterday! While the bill passed and our House members showed far more regard for provider groups than constituents and our residents in long-term care, we owe AARP Texas (Andrea Earl) and Representative Senfronia Thompson a huge debt of gratitude for the amendment that removed the section of the bill that prevented ombudsmen from accessing litigation records and anything a facility deemed was not "in the normal course of business"
Representative Clardy has a way (he is an attorney, after all) of making this unreasonable bill sound routine and practical. That, unfortunately makes families sound uninformed about the bill.
Provider groups have power and money and we are just families with voter registration cards.
But we do still have the ability to ask our Senators to not pass this legislation in the upper chambers since nothing changes the fact that it is an egegrious conflict with federal regulations which make the Texas Long-term Care Ombudsman Program sacred to residents alone for the protection of their health, safety, welfare and rights and providers have no right to influence the advocacy, administration, reports, training or anything else in this program which is what they did in getting this bill filed.
Only 13 of our legislators stood up for residents on second reading and 22 on third reading. Maybe they thought the amendment addressed all of our concerns. Let's go with that!
We are Texas Caregivers for Compromise and we are #notgoingaway!