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What’s Wrong With Long-Term Care?

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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.

America’s long-term care (LTC) system is broken. The Biden administration pushes more government money and regulation on the industry. In a new paper on LTC for the Paragon Health Institute, “Long-Term Care: The Problem,” I show that the federal government created this problem. So more of the same won’t help.

LTC includes supportive services for people who cannot dress, wash, transfer, use the toilet, eat, or turn in bed without assistance. Age or disability (physical or cognitive) can impair the ability to perform those daily activities that are usually lost in that order. 

LTC need due to age is huge and growing. Seventy percent of people who reach age 65 will develop severe LTC needs and 48 percent will receive paid care. Paid care spikes around age 85. The 85+ population will more than double by 2040.

LTC is expensive whether provided in a nursing home ($260 per day for a semi-private room), assisted living ($4,500 per month), or at home ($27 per hour for a home health aide). Government already funds nearly three fourths of total LTC spending. Medicaid — means-tested welfare — pays the most (42.1 percent), and Medicare pays another 18 percent.

The full article can be found in RealClearPolicy.

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