When President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) into law, he officially killed the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) voluntary long-term care (LTC) benefits program.
He also created a new parlor game: Pick the 15 people that you think will, or should, be on a new Commission on Long-Term Care that’s supposed to come up with a new proposal for fixing the U.S. LTC system.
On the Web, I tried to come up with 15 picks of my own, based on the assumption that commission members would generally not be current members of Congress.
My initial ideas:
Senate Republican picks
Rick Foster, the outgoing chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) – the Obama administration official who announced that he did not think the CLASS program would work.
Marc Andreessen, a creator of one of the original Web browsers and a longtime venture capitalist. His firm is one of the backers of airbnb—a Web-based service that helps travelers rent ordinary people’s spare bedrooms. Why not rent people’s spare bedrooms for LTC purposes as well as pleasure travel purposes?
Marion Somers, aka “ Doctor Marion.” A geriatric care manager who drives a Greyhound bus around the country to promote the need for LTC planning.
Senate Democratic picks
Mark Parkinson, president of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living—groups for LTC providers; a former Democratic governor of Kansas; and an owner and operator of LTC facilities.
House Republican picks
Ron Paul. (Aside from being a Libertarian, he’s a medical doctor.)
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He would probably not be a pushover on LTC worker labor relations issues.
Janet Trautwein, the chief executive officer of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU).
House Democratic picks
Gabrielle Giffords, the former House member who was shot and has spent years in rehabilitation.