Long-term care specialists are at odds over what they believe the Long-Term Care Commission will submit to Congress on Thursday as part of its first set of recommendations to better ensure LTC coverage is available for the elderly and disabled.
After the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act was repealed by the American Taxpayer Relief Act, better known as the “fiscal-cliff” law, in January, the Long-Term Care bipartisan commission was set up.
The commission, which consists of 15 members appointed by Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and the White House, was then tasked with reporting to lawmakers by Sept. 12 on how to establish, implement and finance a “comprehensive, coordinated, and high-quality system that ensures the availability of long-term services and supports for individuals in need.”
Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, told ThinkAdvisor that at best, he believes the commission will recommend only a “superficial overview of the importance of the issue and the lack of a cohesive approach to dealing with it.” With only a few meetings under its belt, Slome says that it “would be foolhardy” for the commission to recommend legislation.
Rather, he expects the commission to “likely ask for an extension, some money and an opportunity to continue exploring.” Long-term care “simply remains an issue that is overlooked by politicians,” something he doesn’t see changing “anytime soon.”
But Chris Orestis, a long-term care specialist and former insurance industry lobbyist who is CEO of Life Care Funding, expects the commission’s report to “radically alter the ways in which long-term care is financed.”