Thursday, September 24, 2009

Long-Term Care Gets a Little Attention From Lawmakers

Not everyone in Washington has ignored long-term-care in the Obamacare debacle. Even members of Obama’s party have realized that there are shortfalls in his healthcare plan … Senators Maria Cantwell, D-Wash and Herb Kohl, D-Wis. introduced the Home and Community Balanced Incentives Act of 2009. This act establishes financial incentives for States to expand the provision of long-term care services to Medicaid beneficiaries who do not reside in an institution. Then there’s the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s health care reform bill that includes a public-funding option for long term care. It’ll pay $50 a day minimum in LTC benefits as long as recipients have paid premiums for at least five years. At best, both of these bills would provide a morsel of relief for Americans in need. However, the chances of passage are slim. Reason: They have been sent to committee where majority of bills and resolutions die a slow death. And even if they are passed, the cost is astronomical. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Kennedy bill is estimated to cost a whopping $1 TRILLION over 10 years … an amount taxpayers can ill afford. This tells me that anyone who is counting on the government to fix the long-term care problem is living in la-la land. The truth is that you’re going to be left fending for yourself. So your best solution is to take responsibility for protecting your wealth and assuring that you’ll receive the best possible care when need. And that means understanding what the government will and will not pay when your health changes. I suggest you take a look at my book, A Boomer’s Guide to Long-term Care. It could very well be the best investment you make this year! Best wishes, George

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