Congress Establishes Commission on Long Term Care

Following the repeal of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act in January, Congress legislated the formation of a bi-partisan Commission on Long-Term Care to develop a plan to make long-term care services available to elderly individuals, individuals with substantial cognitive or functional limitations, and other individuals who require assistance. This 15-member, bi-partisan Commission on Long-Term Care has been charged with developing “a plan for the establishment, implementation, and financing of a comprehensive, coordinated, and high-quality system that ensures the availability of long-term services and supports…[for] elderly individuals, individuals with substantial cognitive or  functional limitations, other individuals who require assistance…”  The President and the minority and majority leaders of the House and the Senate  each appointed three commission members., which resulted in six Republican appointments and nine Democratic appointments. Among the appointees is Judy Stein, the Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy and a Past President of  The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (www.naela.org)

The commission is charged with submitting a report within six months, with  recommendations for legislative or administrative action. The report will be
introduced as a Senate bill if approved by a majority of the commission  members.  It is estimated that 70% of all people who reach age 65 will need long-term care services, and, according to the 2012 Met-Life survey of long-term care services , the national daily average cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home increased 3.7% from 2011 to 2012, and the cost of a room in an assisted living facility, or similar care at home , increase 2.1% in the same time period.    This expense is overwhelming  for many of the people I see in my practice, and is only going up.  I wish the Commission the best of luck, and look forward to reporting their recommendations.

 

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