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Tester And Daines Oppose Biden Administration's Staff Mandate For Rural Nursing Homes

Following the announcement on Sept. 1 that the Biden Administration is proposing a federal mandate dictating staffing levels at nursing homes, which would place an undue burden on rural and underserved facilities that are struggling with severe staffing shortages, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D) and U.S. Senator Daines (R) issued statements opposing the mandate.

“At a time when rural states like Montana are experiencing challenging staffing shortages, it’s completely unacceptable for the Biden Administration to impose a one-size-fits-all staffing mandate that will only make things harder on rural nursing homes. This is just the latest example of Washington bureaucrats displaying how little they understand about the challenges rural America faces, and I’ll continue to fight back against burdensome mandates that simply do not work for communities across Montana,” said Tester in a statement.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines issued the following statement “nursing homes in Montana, especially in rural, underserved areas, are already struggling with severe staffing shortages and President Biden’s new burdensome mandate will only make matters worse. This one-size-fits-all approach ignores the needs of rural facilities and ultimately hurts elderly Montanans seeking care. As President Biden continues to leave small-town Montanans behind, I will continue to push back against his heavy-handed mandates.”

In June, Tester sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young urging the Biden Administration not to implement a burdensome staffing mandate that would exacerbate the serious recruitment and retention challenges currently facing nursing homes in rural America.

In January, both Tester and Daines joined a group of bipartisan senators and wrote to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to express these concerns about the Administration’s intent to issue staffing mandates for nursing homes.

In recent years, staffing issues and nursing home closures have limited access to senior care in rural communities. Since 2021, Montana has seen the closure of 12 nursing homes, and in 2022 alone, the state lost more than 850 nursing home beds, according to the Montana Health Care Association.


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