U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to urge you to vote no on H.J. Res. 139 and H.R. 7513, measures to rescind a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) rule that require minimum staffing standards at nursing homes.

On May 10, 2024, CMS published a thoughtful and comprehensive final rule implementing national staffing standards that will substantially improve the quality of care in our nation’s nursing homes.

The comprehensive, long-awaited rule was shaped with maximum input from thousands of stakeholders across the country. When fully implemented, the regulation will require nursing homes to have a minimum of .55 registered nurse (RN) and 2.45 nurse aide hours of care for every resident every day, in addition to an overall 3.48 hours per resident day requirement. The standards also encompass a requirement for all nursing homes have a RN on site 24 hours per day, 7 days per week — to ensure that all residents can get nursing attention at any time, day or night. Finally, the standards call for facilities to use an evidence-based assessment process that adjusts staffing to match the care needs of their residents based on their acuity.

Together, these standards are a bold call to improve the quality of care and quality of life for more than 1.2 million nursing home residents who are receiving services in Medicare and Medicaid-funded facilities. Regrettably, some in Congress have introduced legislation and a joint resolution designed to prevent CMS from ever implementing staffing standards.

H.J. Res. 139 and H.R. 7513 would effectively stand in the way of improving both resident experience and quality of care.  Extensive research over many decades has demonstrated that chronic understaffing results in serious harm to residents, including shortening their lives. Deliberate understaffing also makes the jobs of nurse aides, nurses, and other staff working in nursing homes very difficult – thus contributing to poor morale, high rates of on-the-job injuries, and very high staff turnover rates. This legislation also ignores the fact that CMS’ standards provide nursing homes with a generous period of time – up to five years – before implementation is final, and a waiver process for facilities that can demonstrate they are unable to meet the standards.

We ask you to stand with nursing home residents and nursing home workers — and to reject any and all attempts to derail CMS’ staffing standards. For too long, understaffing has been tolerated in our nation’s long-term care facilities. Safe staffing is fundamental to good care. As our nation prepares to support millions more older adults than ever before, it is time to ensure that our nursing homes are called on to provide the best quality care they can – and that starts with safe staffing.

The National Committee urges a “no” vote on H.J. Res. 139 and H.R. 7513 when they are considered by the full House because they would stymie critically needed safe staffing standards that are designed to protect frail nursing home residents and those working in facilities to provide the best possible care.


Max Richtman
President and CEO