The new virus isn't starting fires so much as it's pouring gasoline on fires already burning. "We're not happy with our nursing homes," proclaimed President Trump the other day, as new statistics highlighted senior care facilities as hotspots for COVID-related sickness and death. The problem is apparent in Sangamon and Macon counties, where nearly all of the deaths have been in long-term care facilities. Illinois particularly has neglected its nursing homes for many years (See "Old folks. Who cares?," Illinois Times, Aug. 15, 2019) with one of the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rates in the nation. Inadequate state funding led to the closure of at least 23 Illinois nursing homes since 2014. Fortunately, state lawmakers approved a funding increase last year, the first in four years, but it was not enough to make up the shortfall. Adequate funding would improve the statistics. These statistics are our parents. –Fletcher Farrar, editor and CEO

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