Voters Want Long Term Care included in Presidential Candidates’ Healthcare Proposals
Genworth Financial, Inc. convened a national symposium of noted experts from the healthcare industry, seniors organizations, government and academia on Capitol Hill to discuss the future of long term care in America. It also released the results of a new poll on the importance of long term care in the 2008 elections and a new book on the future of long term care in America.
Representatives from organizations such as AARP, the American Association for Homes Services for the Aging (AAHSA), the American Health Care Association(AHCA), the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance of Caregivers (NAC) participated in an exchange of ideas and solutions aimed at addressing the looming crisis America faces amid rising long term care costs and a lack of sufficient planning at the national, state and individual levels.
“It is estimated that 60% of those over the age 65 will require a form of long term care at some point,” said Buck Stinson, president of Genworth Financial’s long term care insurance division. “With the first of the 78 million baby boomers turning 62 next year, we need to be both realistic and prepared for the healthcare demands many of these Americans will have, which is precisely why the discussion we’re having today is so important.”
According to the new bi-partisan national survey, nearly seven in ten Americans have not made any plans for their own, a spouse’s or another relative’s long term care needs. Yet, over half those surveyed have had a loved one who needed some form of long term care. The poll also found that close to 80 percent of the respondents want to see long term care included in the healthcare proposals offered by the presidential candidates. More than 80 percent of those surveyed also said that positions on long term care funding will be an important factor in deciding who to vote for in the 2008 election.
The polling also showed that Americans are willing to bear part of the responsibility to develop a national long term care program, whether through tax incentives for the purchase of private long term care insurance or through a universal healthcare initiative that include long term care coverage. Sixty percent of voters surveyed supported new taxes or payroll deductions to subsidize a long term care program. Sixty-eight percent of those who supported new taxes or payroll deductions also indicated a willingness to pay between $25 monthly and upwards of $50 per month.
The release of a new publication, The Future of Long Term Care in America: Views and Recommendations by Prominent Experts, was a focal point of the symposium. The book’s purpose is to inform policy makers, academics, financial advisors and consumers about the challenges of long term care. It will be available on Amazon.com. It is comprised of ten chapters, each written by a different author such as AARP CEO, Bill Novelli, and former Congressional Budget Office Director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin. It covers a wide range of long term care issues including the role of technology in future care, Alzheimer’s disease, independent living, public funding for long term care programs, the growing demand and delivery (home-based and facility-based) of long term care services and other relevant topics. More information about the book, including a full list of chapters and their authors, can be found at Genworth.com.
Source: CNNMoney.com; 10/11/07