|Updated: 2/21 10:03 pm
||Published: 2/21 9:17 pm
TULSA, Okla. - For a number of months, we've been looking into allegations of widespread mistreatment in Oklahoma nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities.
A state House committee has now killed a bill calling for reforms without even discussing it.
But it's clear this is an issue that's not just going away.
This month, we introduced you to 86-year-old Fern Horton and the nightmare she said she endured in two Oklahoma nursing homes.
Horton explained to FOX23 a situation where she was in pain and no one did anything.
FOX23 asked Horton, “Did she [the staff nurse] know you were in pain?"
Horton replied. “She didn't care. She stood there and laughed. And the RN never reported it."
Stories of alleged mistreatment across the state prompted Democratic state Rep. Richard Morrissette to write a bill calling for a number of changes, including: Putting more of what happens inside nursing homes into public view, increasing staffing and requiring long-term-care companies to disclose more information about where the money is going.
“Some of my folks on the other side of the aisle keep talking about family values. What could be more valuable than taking care of an elderly loved one? The way we're supposed to do as a civilized society that cares about all human life, including those in the twilight of their life," said Morrissette.
FOX23 confirmed with the chairman of the House Committee on Long-Term Care and Senior Services, Republican Rep. David Dank, the nursing home bill will not be heard, pushing the issue off for more study after the legislative session.
Early on, Morrissette vowed he wouldn't let his bill die easily.
“There's a thousand ways to kill a bill and there's a thousand ways to keep it alive, so nothing is ever dead,” said Morrissette.
As for Fern Horton, she has this to say to nursing home companies ;and state leaders, including Gov. Mary Fallin, who say they're looking out for the rights of the elderly.
“Well prove it, Mary,” said Horton.
We told Horton, “You'd have to take on those big companies.”
She told us, “I don't care who they are.”
Not willing to back down, Fern Horton and Oklahoma Rep. Richard Morrissette aren’t letting this bill be swept under the rug, they are both going to fight.
Stay with FOX23 as we continue to investigate this case.