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Florida’s shameful failure.

They’re locked down in violation of the law. Tied with ropes. Given tranquilizers without a doctor’s order. It has happened to Florida’s most vulnerable, the elderly or mentally ill, at least 1,732 times since 2002 in homes licensed by the state. Most of those homes have been slapped with a relatively small fine and nothing more.

Society’s most important obligation is to protect the most vulnerable among us — the elderly, infirm and children. Reasonable people may disagree on how best to meet that duty, but Floridians resoundingly look to their government for a minimum of protection.

Yet our state government is failing miserably on that front — failing to protect our poorest of seniors and the mentally ill from abuse and neglect. And it was failing long before Florida faced an economic tumble. Worse yet, these are folks living in homes that taxpayers finance through Medicaid, the federal-state partnership that puts Florida in charge of caring for the poorest sick residents.   read more

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