Federal C.L.A.S.S. Act Focuses Needed Attention on the Nation’s Lack of Long-Term Care Planning

This week, New York Times blog, “The New Old Age,” answers questions about long-term care coverage and how the C.L.A.S.S. Act, a bill introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass) that would establish a national long-term care insurance program, enjoys the possibility of being incorporated into congressional health care legislation. “Congress Tackles Long-Term Care.”

Most analysts appear surprised that the concept of a national LTC program has moved from the theoretical to a possibility of approval. Three congressional committees, however, still need to weigh in with a vote on the program.

Howard Gleckman, a senior researcher at the Urban Institute told the Times “that while some insurance companies oppose the idea, ‘the biggest problem the C.L.A.S.S. Act has isn’t opposition, but indifference – a sense on the Hill that they just don’t want to mess with long-term care.'”

Whether or not the measure passes as part of health care reform – which faces its own serious obstacles – placing the issue of the lack of long-term care coverage in the United States on the front page of major newspapers is helpful and informative for the millions of Americans who can still afford to purchase private coverage or have the capacity to push their employers to offer LTC as part of a benefits package.

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