The Nation reports that horror stories involving nursing homes have become almost commonplace. For three decades, federal and state investigations have repeatedly documented widespread understaffing, misuse of medication and restraints, even physical attacks on patients. Yet thousands of vulnerable citizens remain confined in depressing, debilitating, and often deadly institutions. Federal officials are promising to subject nursing homes to closer scrutiny in the coming months. But many fail to recognize that standards remain lax and reforms fall short because of the very nature of nursing homes. Facilities that care for nearly 2 million elderly and disabled residents form a lucrative private industry that profits directly from pain - while taxpayers foot the bill.
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