Close Close
ThinkAdvisor

Life Health > Life Insurance

LTCI Watch: Ben Carson

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

What’s striking about the official start of Ben Carson’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination is that the announcement of his candidacy is, arguably, the second most important thing happening in his life this week.

Carson’s mother, Sonya Carson, who has been coping with Alzheimer’s disease since 2011, is said to be critically ill in Dallas. Carson is canceling a big campaign trip to Iowa so he can be with his mother.

One thought is that this fits in with the Disability Insurance Awareness Month campaign, which started Friday.

See also: Disability insurers seek eye contact

These days, many disability insurers are offering employers stand-alone absence management services.

Carson’s situation illustrates how a need to be absent can affect anyone, at any time. Even the most inconvenient time.

More on this topic

His situation also illustrates the challenging nature of one of the most common, least understood, most painful reasons for absence: the need to be with aging, seriously ill and dying loved ones.

Many policymakers, including some Republicans in Congress who are running for president, have made what I think are reasonable arguments about the burdens that rigid, complicated leave mandates impose on employers. Letting the cost of complying with, and simply understanding, leave mandates eat up American productivity may ultimately backfire, and make life worse for workers, not better.

But it’s also clear that time and illness cross party lines. The more this country can find practice ways to support people who are supporting loved ones, the better.

If Congress can find a way to create practical, affordable new tax credits or other support programs for caregivers, great.

Whatever Congress does about federal caregiver support programs, it ought to do more to promote existing private insurance and advice programs that can help fill caregiver support gaps.