News & Publications: Press Releases

CRC Proposal Would Weaken Protections for Nursing Home Residents

Florida Health Care Association Executive Director Emmett Reed issued the following statement after Constitution Revision Commission member Brecht Heuchan filed a proposal (0088) that would weaken protections for nursing home residents:

“Some things simply do not belong in the Florida Constitution, which is the core document that sets out the basic structure of our government. With a glaringly bad proposal, one Constitution Revision Commission member would wipe out more than 30 years of meaningful and thoughtful progress designed to ensure that nursing home residents have the right to quality care and the services they need. Unfortunately, this member appears to have lost sight of the fact that the select members of this august body have a profound duty not just to those in their workday lives, but indeed to all Floridians.

With this proposal, a professional lobbyist representing trial attorneys has ignored his broader obligations in order to serve the narrow interest of his clients. The proposed constitutional amendment is an egregious governmental overstep, one that overreaches to a monumental extent. Since the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, nursing home residents in Florida have had important rights and protections under both state and federal law. This amendment seems to contain every bad proposal rejected by the Legislature over the last several years. It would add nothing to the quality of life for our state’s frailest elders, nor would it solve the real issues of keeping nursing home residents safe during disasters. It would only serve the interests of greedy trial attorneys who continually attempt to cash in by suing nursing homes.

Quality care and quality of life are a top priority for the Florida Health Care Association and the more than 550 nursing home members we represent. By undermining the effective reforms enacted in recent years, this awful proposal would do nothing but create an open door for trial attorneys to file meritless lawsuits. It has no place in our laws, and it certainly has no place in our state’s constitution.”

Kristen Knapp, APR
Director of Communications
Florida Health Care Association
850.701.3530  or 850.510.4389 cell