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The Bait and the switch


It’s not just Comrade Trump who can OUTFLANK the Dems:

The decades-long quest of Florida elder-care facilities to secure greater protections against negligence lawsuits may get a boost from the unlikeliest of events: a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that is ravaging their residents.

A trade group for Florida’s nearly 700 nursing homes is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to extend the state’s sovereign immunity provisions to the industry and other healthcare sectors during the course of the coronavirus pandemic. If the request is granted, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other providers would be protected against negligence suits.

DeSantis is already doing the industry a favor by refusing to name nursing homes and ALFs where positive tests have occurred. The Miami Herald, joined by a slew of other news organizations, has filed notice of intent to file a public records lawsuit over that refusal. DeSantis tried to block the suit by having his general counsel induce the Herald’s longtime law firm, which does considerable legal work for the state, to bow out. A new law firm had to be hired.

Obligatory reminder that “sovereign immunity” itself is a fundamentally undemocratic concept, invented by neoconfederate judges in direct contradiction to the explicit text of the Constitution.

Anyway, this is the classic Republican bait-and-switch:

1. “We don’t need state regulation — civil suits can punish bad actors and disincentivize harmful acts.”

2. “Bad actors should get full immunity from civil suits.”

3. Repeat on an endless loop.

Anyway, hard to see something wrong with giving nursing homes no incentive to protect the health of their patients and staff during a pandemic — the market should work its lovely magic.

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