With lingering questions about how
the novel coronavirus killed thousands of New Yorkers who lived in nursing homes, a group of state lawmakers is pushing to create an independent commission to get answers from the state Department of Health.
State Sen. Jim Tedisco, a Republican from the Schenectady suburbs, last week announced an online petition drive to build public support for such a commission. He said a pair of August hearings, convened by Democrats who control the state Assembly and Senate, didn’t produce the information needed to evaluate and adjust state policies before a predicted second wave of the virus.
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ALBANY, N.Y. () — The Empire Center filed a against the state Department of Health on Friday.
“This case isn’t about assigning blame or embarrassing political leaders,” said Bill Hammond, the Empire Center’s
“The importance of discussing this and getting the true facts out is to understand what did and didn’t happen so we can learn from it in case this happens again,” Hammond said.
No doubt, the Health Department and the governor would like this report to be the final word on the subject.
But if it’s all the same with them, we’d still like a truly independent review.
The New York State Department of Health has concluded that an executive order requiring nursing homes to readmit coronavirus patients, issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, was not the driving factor behind coronavirus deaths in the state’s nursing homes.
When New York released a study absolving the state as well as nursing homes and other health care facilities of blame for the more than 6,000 COVID-related nursing home deaths, health care industry leaders quickly confirmed the state’s findings in statements issued by the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Health insurance companies regulated by the state are waiting to hear back about their requests for 2021 rate changes for premium holders. The companies, like nearly every other industry, face many uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their requests vary widely.
Why did more than 6,000 nursing home residents die in New York during the height of the coronavirus pandemic?
With the pandemic damaging the economy, fiscal experts question whether New York will continue to sustain a generous policy that lets police, teachers and other public employees cash in unused vacation, sick and other paid days off when they leave a job — or whether the system has become so ingrained in politics that it’s considered off limits no matter what.