White House Abandons Long Term Care Component of AHA

The provisions of the Affordable Care Act intended to provide affordable long term care assistance have been scrapped. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (correctly in my view) says it wouldn't be economically viable. Premiums would be too high, healthy people and young people wouldn't enroll.

There are no plans to revamp it. It certainly was not an entitlement:

It would have been financed with premiums paid by workers, through voluntary payroll deductions, with no federal subsidy.


The cost of nursing homes is outrageous:

At $75,000 a year for a nursing home and $18,000 a year for home health care, most families cannot afford to pay out of pocket,” [Sebelius] said.

Most insurance companies don't pay benefits under long term care policies unless you can't do two of these three things: toilet yourself, feed yourself and dress yourself.

I've spent enough time in both assisted living facilities and nursing homes to know I'm wouldn't go to either one, even if they were free. I'd probably take a final cruise down the Danube, so to speak. Others may feel differently, and that's their choice. But I won't lament the decision not to enrich insurance companies who for excessive premiums pay a smidgeon of the outrageous cost.

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    You can decide to sit on an ice floe (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by the capstan on Fri Oct 14, 2011 at 09:03:18 PM EST
    so to speak, but what about a family member who had had a stroke, was mentally alert, but paralyzed and without speech (as my husband was).  When ltc was offered to state employees (and the policy was written so it could return all premiums if you reached 75 or so without needing ltc), I jumped at it.  Premiums at our age then were not bad.  And we had recently had much trouble getting my very disabled m-i-l into a medicaid bed.

    That ltc allowed me to hire help and then saved my home when I had to resort to the the nursing facility for him.  (He died the month the policy ran out after 5 years.)  You can bet I kept my policy: My kids won't have to decide between that ice floe and trying to keep me in their homes.

    Someone in this country needs to figure out a way to make ltc available outside of medicaid parameters.  Those rules can either pauperize a spouse or force the spouse into divorce to get help for the loved one.  Maybe more people need the education I got in pre-planning.

    ps--sometimes life does not give you a chance to choose that ice floe.  Sh-t happens!

    It's not what we can afford today (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by koshembos on Fri Oct 14, 2011 at 10:43:06 PM EST
    If the country cannot afford to take care of its sick, what is the human value of the whole country?

    what about individual mandate? (none / 0) (#1)
    by diogenes on Fri Oct 14, 2011 at 08:06:30 PM EST
    "Premiums would be too high, healthy people and young people wouldn't enroll."

    All you'd need is an individual mandate, just like in Obama's regular health insurance.

    I still say Soylent Green's the answer, to several (none / 0) (#4)
    by jawbone on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:46:44 PM EST
    looming problems: How to deal with the non-wealthy ill elderly and how to feed the non-wealthy 99%ers of all ages.

    Suicide is not that easy, especially for elderly people who may be unable to acquire drugs to use or be able to effect a successful effort to kill themselves.  Thus, if long term care if not going to be an affordable option, let's at least have "death with dignity," allowing the individual at least some control over when and how to die.

    Obama opted to not have universal health CARE, Medicare for All Improved, as his legacy.  So, why not Obama Self-Selection Intake Centers (OSSIC) for the Soylent Green manufacturing and recycling industry?