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Cuomo granted immunity to nursing home executives, after big-money campaign donation

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Cuomo granted immunity to nursing home executives, after big-money campaign donation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed legislation granting hospital and nursing home executives immunity from lawsuits related to the novel coronavirus last month, previously received a big-money boost from a powerful health care industry group, according to a new report.

An article published on the socialist website Jacobin, and re-published by The Guardian, reports that the New York State Democratic Committee, then backing Cuomo’s primary run in 2018, received more than $1 million from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) -- a lobbying group for hospital systems, some of which own nursing homes.

The donation made the group one of the state party’s largest contributors in that cycle. Three of the hospital association’s top officials separately gave more than $150,000 to Cuomo’s campaign between 2015 and 2018, the outlet reported.

That donation is now drawing scrutiny after Cuomo signed legislation last month that protects executives from lawsuits -- just as he is under continued criticism for his March 25 order (since deleted) requiring nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients.

On May 10, and amid increasing criticism, Cuomo issued a new directive stating that hospitals cannot send patients back to nursing homes in the state unless they tested negative for the virus.

The budget provision says that officials “shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, for any harm or damages alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course of arranging for or providing healthcare services” to deal with the outbreak.

The article reports that critics are now trying to repeal that provision amid concerns that it removed a deterrent against nursing homes and hospital corporations cutting corners in the treatment of coronavirus patients. But the measures were drafted and aggressively advocated for by the group, the outlet says.

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I was wondering why the nursing homes in New York got special treatment, it's amazing what campaign contributions can do.

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