Following Florida deaths, House Democrats seek to stop reversal of legal rule for nursing home abuse cases

House Democrats are advocating for a rule making it easier for residents to sue nursing homes, according to The Hill.

President Donald Trump's administration seeks to reverse the rule, which was issued under former President Barack Obama but never implemented due to a court challenge. The rule barred government-reimbursed nursing homes from requiring residents to agree to use arbitration when there are abuse allegations, according to the report. The current administration has proposed keeping arbitration agreements.

But nearly 50 House Democrats recently spoke out against reversing the Obama-era rule in a letter to CMS. According to The Hill, they wrote "these clauses are buried in the fine print of voluminous nursing home admission contracts and typically only accepted because they are unnoticed."

The letter comes weeks after 12 residents died at Hollywood, Fla.-based Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills due to air conditioning and power outages following Hurricane Irma.

House Democrats noted this in their letter to CMS. "The horrific reports of abuse at facilities in Florida and Texas in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey underscore the need for your agency to reconsider upending the legal protections of those who have worked and saved for their entire lives to retire with dignity," they wrote.

"This is a time when we should be protecting our nation's seniors, not rolling back their fundamental right to hold wrongdoers accountable for neglect and abuse."

The Hill reports more than 75 consumer, health and advocacy groups have also come out against reversing the rule.

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