To the Editor:
Chris Powell is a designated hitter for the Herald/Press who swings for the fences at every at bat. He strikes out a lot, but hits a few home runs. His recent column “Should the state government take over the nursing home business?” was a homer.
Although marred by muted racism, like a lot of his efforts, the general direction he points is right. There were a couple of factors in this obvious suggestion that he left out.
1) Cost Saving. The private nature of most of the nursing homes in CT mean that, despite paying 85% of the bill in taxes, families in CT, who put an elder in a home, also have to shoulder the burden of profits, and executive salaries that a state-owned agency escapes.
2) Safety. The private homes, particularly the non-union, for profit homes, performed abysmally when the great first wave of COVID-19 hit. One of the worst in the country.
The state had to mobilize a tremendous effort to try to oversee and regulate their terrible failure. How many lives, both residents and workers, could have been saved if the defense against the virus had been centrally coordinated, by leadership that was not constantly weighing the question of profit?
We could do without his calling the many foreign-born workers “uneducated…lawbreakers,” and his random scheme about vouchers is just as useless as that idea in schools. Still, Powell shows his usual courage, (sometimes foolhardiness) in suggesting: “Nationalize.”
I agree. Let’s do it.