Controversial Manor Care sale moves forward

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Despite concerns of lawmakers over private equity's effect on long-term care, the sale of the largest nursing home chain in the country to a private-equity firm appears to be going ahead as planned this month.

Congress reportedly did not indicate last week that it would block the sale of Manor Care Inc. to The Carlyle Group, a $6.3 billion transaction, including debt. Two hearings on Capital Hill last week examined nursing home accountability and the negative effect of private equity ownership on nursing home care. Two senators with the Senate Special Committee on Aging proposed legislation that would better inform the public about government inspections, staff numbers and ownership.

Lawmakers in six states have called on state regulators to look into the Manor Care deal, and possibly withhold approval of the deal. The Service Employees Union launched a major campaign across the country to halt the sale, arguing that The Carlyle Group would cut staffing and benefits to boost profits.