A Call to Action on Long-Term Care
Browdie, Richard, Aging Today
Dear Mr. President:
The challenges you face on behalf of the United States are daunting, and many are the result of long years of avoiding tough decisions in the face of predictable, evolving events. One of those growing challenges is the need for long-term care and services by people witii disabilities, most of whom are of advanced age - a rapidly increasing portion of the U.S. population.
Equally important and even more costly is the impact of increased survival into middle and older ages by people who have benefited from advances in the treatment of diseases and disabilities that previously shortened Uves. These range from debilitating or formerly fatal congenital conditions to those resulting from accidents - and even from war. As these concerns loom before us, the ability of the health and human services field to attract and retain employees is falling behind.
The United States needs to rationalize its healthcare financing systems and ensure that every American has access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. However, long-term care and services call for their own solutions. Debates over big reforms have the unfortunate side effect of delaying important steps that can be taken while the arguments go on. With your help; this country can avoid that mistake.
The field of long-term care and services has seen extensive research, analysis and experimentation for many years. Well-meaning people are committed to diverse and sometimes opposing interests, so that no universal consensus has emerged on the "right" solution. Yet, some states have taken considerable strides to rebalance their long-term care programs while increasing consumer satisfaction and slowing cost growth. …