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Testimony by Dr. Alice Rivlin to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Long-Term Care

By Alice M. Rivlin

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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“Responsibility for LTSS is shared among seniors and people with disabilities themselves, family, friends, and volunteer care-givers; communities, state, and federal government. This shared-responsibility system is severely stressed, and will become increasingly unable to cope as the numbers needing care increase. Growing burdens fall on families, often daughters and daughters-in-law, who must manage daily conflicts between earning a living, caring for children, and meeting the needs of elderly or disabled relatives. Growth in Medicaid, the largest payer of long-term services and supports at about $123 billion per year, stresses state and federal budgets as spending for older Americans and individuals with disabilities competes with budgets for education and other investments in young people.

Alice Rivlin

“Many efforts to find a comprehensive solution to long-term care financing have failed—evidenced by passage and subsequent repeal of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act and failure of the federal Long-term Care Commission to reach consensus on financing recommendations. Recently, however, a growing consensus has emerged around a set of incremental steps, which, if taken together could greatly improve the availability and affordability of long-term services and supports to America’s most vulnerable populations and take some of the burden off families and Medicaid in a fiscally responsible way. In recent weeks, the Bipartisan Policy Center and The Long-term Care Collaborative have offered similar sets of recommendations, as has LeadingAge, a key provider association.”

KEYWORDS: MEDICAID, ALICE RIVLIN, LONG-TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS

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