The new American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) has put a stake in the heart of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.
ATRA has also called for officials to create a new task force, the Commission on Long-Term Care, to try to come up with a bipartisan proposal for fixing the U.S. long-term care (LTC) system.
The 15-member commission is supposed to include three members appointed by the Senate majority leader, three by the Senate minority leader, three by the House speaker, three by the House minority leader, and three by the president.
Panel members are supposed to include representatives from LTC insurance (LTCI) providers as well sd members representing the interests of family caregivers, health care workers, users of LTC services, and users of LTC insurance. Some commission members are supposed to have demonstrated experience in dealing with public and private insurance.
Some commenters, including LifeHealthPro.com readers, have concluded that the commission is as doomed as most commissions turn out to be.
But, really: Just about everyone wants the best for older people. Everyone in government and other fields has had parents, at some point, and most of the people involved in health policy expect to get old.
What if the commission came up with ideas that Congress could pass and a president could sign?
What kinds of commissioners could work such magic?
Here are some ideas.
Senate Republican picks
Maybe Senate leaders would want to make their commission picks big thinkers.
Rick Foster is the outgoing chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). He was the official inside the Obama administration who pointed out that the CLASS Act might be well-meaning but was not actually, um, sustainable. (Photo courtesy of CMS)
Marc Andreessen, a creator of one of the original Web browsers and a longtime venture capitalist, lists airbnb — a Web-based service that helps travelers rent ordinary people’s spare bedrooms — as one of his firm’s portfolio companies. Maybe what the country needs now is an airLTC service — a startup that would help older Americans rent the nation’s spare bedrooms on a long-term basis? (Wikipedia Commons photo/Brian Solis)
Marion Somers — known to LifeHealthPro.com readers as Doctor Marion — is a geriatric care manager and has been an indefatigable promoter of the need for LTC planning and private LTCI coverage. If the other commission members acted up, she could cart them away in her famous LTC promotional bus and dump them at a rest stop in the desert somewhere. (File photo)