Senator Joe Pennacchio responded to published reports that the New Jersey’s Veteran’s Memorial Home at Menlo Park may soon be blocked from Medicare and Medicaid programs for mismanagement and non-compliance with safety standards.
Sen. Joe Pennacchio voted remotely from outside the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home during a Senate session on December 9, 2021 to highlight inaction on a proposed investigation into Murphy administration pandemic failures that resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths in veterans homes and nursing homes. (SenateNJ.com)
“It’s clear that the Murphy administration is unwilling or unable to investigate itself or resolve the mismanagement at our State-run veterans homes that may soon result in the loss of federal funding in at least one facility,” said Pennacchio. “After hundreds of unnecessary deaths and tens of millions of dollars paid out in legal settlements, it’s shocking they don’t appear to have made any real progress in improving protections for veterans home residents.”
Pennacchio has led the charge in calling for a comprehensive legislative investigation since May of 2020 after internal whistleblower reports revealed the tragedy that had unfolded inside the State’s veterans homes at the start of the pandemic.
Concerning reports this summer and fall about a new large COVID-19 outbreak linked to ineffective infection control procedures resulted in Pennacchio making new calls for an independent investigation.
In response to comments of concern expressed by several prominent Democrat senators, Pennacchio urged them to join him in supporting a transparent, bipartisan investigation.
“If my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are genuine in their concerns about these continued failings, which I believe they are, they should join us in supporting a full legislative investigation with subpoena power to help identify the problems and develop effective solutions,” Pennacchio added. “The simple fact is the Legislature has done next to nothing so far, and it hasn’t worked.”