According to data analyzed by the Long Term Care Community Coalition, New York state has some of the worst nursing homes in the country.

When asked why, Richard Mollot, the coalition’s executive director, said the state is one of about 12 that does not require safe staffing levels.

“We track this data nationwide,” Mollot said. “New York has always been in the lowest 20 percent of the country, like on par with Missouri and Alabama.”

The other challenge facing nursing homes, according to Mollot, is a lack of regulatory enforcement.

“Nursing homes tend to be crummy places to live and get care. We have good standards in this country, but they’re not enforced,” Mollot explained. “So (COVID-19) just highlighted and exposed decades of poor enforcement.”

Mollot is a proponent of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, but he says it might be easier to pass if hospitals were excised from the bill.

“It’s a big mistake politically,” Mollot said.

When asked why, he said fighting against one powerful lobby is easier than two.