Her ideas might get some attention outside Wisconsin, and even inside the U.S. Capitol, because the NCPA has tried to approach public policy development from a perspective that leans to the right. NCPA policy specialists testify frequently in hearings on Capitol Hill.
The NCPA describes itself as a nonpartisan public policy research organization that promotes “private, free-market alternatives to government regulation and control.”
Republicans will control both the House and the Senate in 2015, but they will have only 54 seats in the Senate. That means that, under normal rules, to move bills through Congress and have them adopted as law, they will need to win the support of at least six Democrats to get the bills to the Senate floor.
If Republicans fail to round up the support of at least six Democrats, a small group of senators who oppose a bill can, in theory, keep the Senate from voting on the bill by filibustering, or engaging in an endless round of debate.
If President Obama vetoes a bill, supporters need to scrape up 67 votes in the Senate to overturn the veto.
Policy specialists at the NCPA may have more ability than some other right-leaning groups to win over moderate Democrats because, traditionally, the NCPA has been polite to Democrats and have assumed that many programs that Democrats support, such as Medicaid and Medicare, will remain in place.
For a look at some of the ideas in Villarreal’s commentary on ways to improve Wisconsin LTC financing system, read on.
1. Let each state set its own Medicaid home equity exemption limit however it wants
Villarreal notes that the federal government now makes the minimum exemption $543,000 and the maximum $814,000.
The federal government could encourage people with the means to prepare for their LTC costs to do so by letting each state set an exemption level based on its own median home price and its own residents’ income and asset levels, Villarreal writes.
See also: Real socialism.
2. Let a state Medicaid program require homeowners to take out reverse mortgages before tapping Medicaid nursing home benefits
Medicaid program managers now try to recover some of the money they spent on an older individual’s nursing home care by going through a slow, complicated, low-yield asset recovery process after the individual dies.