The Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor is putting the heat on the Republican candidate for governor over a string of nursing homes he owned. At issue is American Habitation Services, a company Republican governor nominee Bruce Rauner created in 1996 to buy and operate nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, which then faced lawsuits and disciplinary action over the mistreatment of residents, fatalities and “deplorable” living conditions.
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Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Paul Vallas says Rauner profited from providing substandard care. “In that type of venture, there are profits to be made but there are casualties to be had. We’re not talking about a shopping mall. We’re talking about nursing homes, we’re talking about rehab centers. We’re talking about the type of investments where when you’re taking profits, you’re also inflicting casualties,” Vallas said.
Rauner says it’s fair to criticize the company, but he wasn’t personally involved. That triggered a back-and-forth in which Vallas said if Rauner is running on his record as a businessman, either he is a successful businessmen who takes responsibilities, or a successful profiteer who ignores responsibilities, “and that’s, I think, what we have here,” he said.
Illinois Republicans note there have been instances of neglect at state-run nursing homes while Pat Quinn has been governor. The Quinn campaign says that’s different in that the incidents didn’t happen because the state was trying to squeeze out a profit.