Article

Health Reform in an Aging America

CAPAF Senior Fellow Judy Feder testifies before the Senate Special Committee on Aging on the need to improve long-care services and supports.

Caren-Marie Bowman, left, a volunteer counselor helps Pauline Chase, 78, sign up for her Medicare Part D prescription plan in Concord, NH. We cannot achieve health or fiscal security unless health and entitlement reform efforts address the need for affordable long-term care. (AP/Jim Cole)
Caren-Marie Bowman, left, a volunteer counselor helps Pauline Chase, 78, sign up for her Medicare Part D prescription plan in Concord, NH. We cannot achieve health or fiscal security unless health and entitlement reform efforts address the need for affordable long-term care. (AP/Jim Cole)

CAPAF’s Judy Feder Testifies Before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Read the full testimony (CAPAF).

I am pleased to testify before you today on the need for public action to improve long-term care services and supports. I know you share my view that the nation’s economic stability depends on the well-being of its families and that support for people impaired in the tasks of daily life is vital to that well-being. Sadly, that support is sorely lacking under current policies.

Both during the presidential campaign and since the election of President Obama, we’ve heard much about the need for health reform as critical to restoring prosperity for families and the nation’s economic and fiscal health. Not only is health reform essential to assure affordable health care for all of us; it is also essential to slowing cost growth in our health entitlement programs, Medicare and Medicaid.

However, we cannot achieve health or fiscal security unless health and entitlement reform address the need for affordable long-term care. People with health problems that create both acute and long-term care needs do not distinguish between the two when it comes to finding or paying for care: Both threaten their health and financial well-being. Our current entitlement programs serve people who need both sets of services. About 16 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid—dual eligibles—more than half ofwhom need long-term care. More than a third of Medicaid expenditures are devoted to long-term care services—at home and in the community as well as in nursing homes. We cannot effectively address the needs of people served by these entitlement programs—or their costs—without addressing responsibility for financing long-term care.

CAPAF’s Judy Feder Testifies Before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Read the full testimony (CAPAF).

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Authors

You Might Also Like