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BPC’s Katherine Hayes: Sustainable Policy Solutions to Financing Long-Term Care are Imperative

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Bipartisan Policy Center Health Policy Director Katherine Hayes made the following statement today regarding the release of a new study by The SCAN Foundation, AARP, and LeadingAge, which examines how policy changes could expand insurance’s role in financing long-term services and supports (LTSS). The research was conducted to support the work of three organizations: BPC, The Urban Institute, and Milliman.

“Nearly 70 percent of Americans who reach age 65 will, at some point, be unable to care for themselves without assistance. Issues of long-term care also impact millions of younger people with significant cognitive or physical functional limitations. Yet the United States lacks a comprehensive strategy for financing and delivering of long-term care. The costs of long-term care are daunting to not only individuals and families but to state and federal budgets.

“We are pleased to see the release of these finance modeling results. This data is an important contribution to long-term care policymaking and will inform BPC’s work in addressing this critical issue for American families. Many individuals and families could face potentially catastrophic LTSS costs. Finding ways to broaden insurance protection, whether by reforming and revitalizing the private insurance market or through creating public insurance programs, will require difficult tradeoffs. BPC looks forward to releasing its recommendations in early January to offer a public/private approach to this important issue.”

BPC launched its Long-Term Care Initiative last year to find a politically viable and fiscally sustainable path forward to improve the financing and delivery of LTSS for America’s aging population and working-age Americans with disabilities. The initiative is led by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, M.D., former White House and Congressional Budget Office Director Dr. Alice Rivlin, and BPC Senior Fellow and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson.