Most voters believe the nation’s long term care system needs reform, according to a national commission.
Researchers at the National Commission for Quality Long Term Care, New York, found when they commissioned a survey of likely voters that 94% said reforming the LTC system is important, and 74% said LTC reform is “very important.”
About 69% believe the issue has gone largely unaddressed by the presidential candidates.
Of voters surveyed, 85% agreed that the nation has an obligation to provide quality LTC services for the elderly. Most Democrats expressed that view and so did a majority of Republicans and independents.
Almost 66% of survey participants said they would participate in such a system, even at the cost of $50 a month.
Most voters have some personal experience with long term care, with 60% reporting having had a relative in the LTC system and 25% currently having a relative receiving long term care.
But voters are confused about existing government support for LTC programs, with 34% believing Medicare pays for most long term care and 20% believing most of it is paid for by Medicaid.
In 2004, Medicaid accounted for 49% of U.S. LTC spending.
Another 22% believe individuals and their families pay for most long term care, while 13% say they do not know how most LTC is paid for under the current system.
The National Commission for Quality Long Term Care also issues a report that included a recommendation that financing LTC is a national problem that requires a national solution.
“The system should include ensuring access to quality care for all, affordability for individuals and society, and promoting a shared responsibility among government, individuals and the private sector,” the commission says.
The NCQLTC is headed by former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., and by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and overseen by the New School, New York.