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Fogelman calls for greater focus on nursing home 'crisis'

As nursing homes statewide continue to close due to legislative inaction, District 21B Rep. Marj Fogelman is calling on House Democrats to address this crisis head-on.

Said Fogelman, a Fulda Republican, in a Thursday press release: “Too many nursing homes are closing and nearly all of those that remain in Minnesota are operating at limited capacity. With our $17 billion surplus we could very easily end this crisis, but our House Democrat majority would rather spend money on their pet projects.”

Fogelman added that the COVID pandemic, inflation and increased operating costs, wage challenges, and a workforce shortage that is estimated at 20,000 have all contributed to the nursing home crisis.

Since 2020, almost 2,600 nursing home beds have been taken out of service, which Fogelman said equates to more than 50 nursing homes that would have a 50-bed capacity. Fifteen nursing homes have also closed permanently during that time.

Fogelman noted that there's a growing need for more skilled nursing home care, but nursing homes aren’t able to keep up. In October alone, 11,000 senior citizens were turned away from long-term care settings, she said.

In response, House Democrats have proposed sending $3.9 million in new revenue to nursing homes over the next two years. She said, "It's not a serious attempt to end this crisis, especially when you consider we have a $17 billion budget surplus.”

Fogelman, along with District 21 Sen. Bill Weber and District 21A Rep. Joe Schomacker, have been invited to participate in a legislative breakfast event Saturday morning event coordinated by FORWARD Worthington. The event will begin at 8 a.m. at the Worthington Fire Hall. The legislators will talk about the ongoing session in St. Paul, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.

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