September 18, 2021
Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor, State of California
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA. 95814
RE: AB 279. (Muratsuchi) – Please Sign.
Greetings Governor Newsom:
Health Care for All – Los Angeles Chapter strongly supports AB 279 (Muratsutchi) and urges your signature on this bill. AB279 is a temporary measure to protect long term care facility residents from involuntary, non medically necessary discharges and transfers during the COVID 19 State of Emergency.
COVID mortality statistics have shown that elderly seniors are the most vulnerable population for infection and subsequent death. Senior living facilities can either be incubators of disease when safety measures are lax or safe living environments, protecting residents from infection, when safety standards are implemented. CA Safety Regulations can and do protect seniors in a stable living environment. Transferring residents in and out of facilities breaches that safety net and poses a danger to the lives of those being removed from trusted facilities and to those receiving new residents during the serious crisis of a pandemic. Instability poses serious risks.
Evicting vulnerable seniors from their residence at any time imposes significant risks to their health and well being. Especially during a pandemic or epidemic, eviction is a serious assault on the ability of this population to survive. CA Department of Public Health (CDPH) records show over 200 citations for improper discharges from elder care facilities statewide during the pandemic. Evictions and transfers constitute unnecessary negligent exposure of a vulnerable population to illness and possible death.
The passage of AB 279 is urgently needed now to keep seniors in their residential homes with proper attention to observance of safety standards. AB 279 prohibits intermediate care and skilled nursing facilities from transferring, terminating, or significantly changing residential care services during the emergency period.
This Bill AB 279 received wide bipartisan support within the legislature, representing the needs and interests of the people of California. Many Californians will be faced with their loved ones being cared for in residential facilities and deserve the comfort of knowing that care will be consistent, reliable, uninterrupted and designed for the benefit of residents. Relationships of residents to one another and to staff, familiarity of environment, stable routines, and culturally sensitivity are all components of good care. Seniors deserve good care. We all deserve to feel confident that our family members are protected and receiving quality care without worrying about evictions and transfers.
AB 279 is straightforward legislation, of negligible State cost, widely supported in the legislature, endorsed by 33 organizations and important to the people of the state who seek safety and comfort of our elders in those final years.
AB 279 is urgent legislation. Please stop these risk laden evictions and unconscionable transfers of our seniors away from their secure housing. We ask you to sign AB 279 .
Maureen Cruise RN, Director
Erika Feresten, MA, PCC, Director
Cheng Sim Lim, Bronwyn Major, Jeanna Harris BSN Co -Chairs
Health Care for All – Los Angeles Chapter TEAM