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LTCI Watch: Jesse Slome is right

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The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) is heading to Washington tomorrow for a long-term care (LTC) sales conference.

Jesse  Slome, executive director of AALTCI, got some attention for the conference by putting a little information about it at the bottom of a national press release calling for the presidential candidates to give us their LTC plans.

“Now we need to address long-term care,” Slome said.

The truth is the truth: Slome is right. The candidates should give us detailed summaries of their views on LTC policy.

Ideally, they should stand up in an auditorium somewhere and give the topic the kind of attention they would give foreign policy, or general domestic policy issues. LTC services could soon absorb as much of our gross domestic product as military spending and foreign aid programs combined. It would be great if debate organizers could recognize that LTC policy is worth a whole debate on its own, not just a few moments tucked into a domestic policy grab bag debate.

One of the top candidates, Dr. Ben Carson, is a neurosurgeon. He put his campaign on hold in May, when he found out that his own mother had Alzheimer’s disease and was seriously ill.

Hillary Clinton held a campaign event in August with home care workers.

Of course, caring about the well-being of people who need LTC services and agreeing on how to handle that need are two different things entirely.

Some people may say that the government should pay more for care, and that, if the government lacks the revenue to pay for that care, it had better find a way to come up with that revenue.

Other people might emphasize the need for self-reliance and efforts to unleash the power of market forces.

People on either side of the policy philosophy divide might be surprisingly warm, or cold, toward the products that readers actually sell.

But, whatever political, economic and philosophical values the candidates might bring to a discussion about LTC policy, it would be nice to think that they could approach the conversation with a serious and compassionate attitude, and an awareness that the clock ticks for Democrats and Republicans alike. Maybe they could talk about this topic in a way that showed they have an actual interest in governing the country, not just in making it impossible for members of the other party to lead it.


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