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Long-term care, an important part of health reform, divides commission

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@patriciaborns  One of the Affordable Care Act's most complex moving parts -- long-term care -- doesn't appear to be moving, as the 15 people tasked by Congress to come up with solutions are divided over how to finance their recommendations.

As the Washington Post reports, the  Commission on Long Term Care was given about 100 days to author solutions for insuring and financing long-term care for Americans with disabilities and other chronic needs. The intent was " to cover living assistance costs that Medicare and Medicaid don't include. These would be things like home-care aides, accessible transportation and home modifications.

"It ended, three years later, with a 114-page, bullet-point-laden report that only nine of its 15 authors would agree to endorse," Wapo reports.

To be fair, the Commission had a few months to author -- and agree on -- a set of solutions that have defied health reform advocates for decades.  The original impetus for long-term care, called the CLASS Act, "was dismissed in October 2011, after actuaries at Health and Human Services couldn't figure out a way to make the program financially viable." 

The Commission's report emphasizes palliative care in home and community settings as an alternative to costly hospital stays. Read more

 

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