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More Families Depend on Medicaid to Pay for Long-Term Care

Stephen Moses

Stephen Moses

Visiting Fellow

Stephen Moses is president of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. The Center promotes universal access to top-quality long-term care by encouraging private financing as an alternative to Medicaid dependency for most Americans. Previously, Mr. Moses was president of the Center for Long- Term Care Financing (1998-2005), Director of Research for LTC, Inc., (1989-98), a senior analyst for the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1987-89), a Medicaid state representative for the Health Care Financing Administration (1978-87), a HHS Departmental Management Intern (1975-78), and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Venezuela (1968-1970). He is widely recognized as an expert and innovator in the field of long-term care.

AnneMarie Schieber

In six years, baby boomers will start reaching the age of 85, when the need for long-term care (LTC) spikes—and more families will turn to a government health program, primarily Medicaid, to foot the bill.

Government programs fund 72.3 percent of all long-term care in the United States, according to data cited in a report by the Paragon Health Institute. Medicaid is the largest source of taxpayer funding, at 42.1 percent or $200.1 billion, while Medicare funds 18.2 percent of all LTC costs.

Dependence on these programs for LTC spells trouble ahead. Medicaid, which covers individuals of all ages, already covers a disproportionate share of seniors, while Medicare is facing insolvency.

‘Fallacy of Impoverishment’

Medicaid is the government’s health care safety net, but for LTC, it has become a hammock, says Stephen Moses, president of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform and author of the Paragon report, titled “Long-Term Care: The Problem.”

“The common wisdom is you have to become impoverished before the government helps you with long-term care, but the truth is very different,” Moses told The Heartland Daily Podcast on November 1. “I call it ‘the fallacy of impoverishment.’”

The full article can be found in Health Care News.

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