Monday August 30, 1999
The February 1999 issue of Consumers' Research magazine published a cover story by Center President Stephen Moses titled "How to Cope With Long-Term Care." The following letter appeared in the magazine's June '99 issue and was recently brought to our attention. Our thanks to the letter's author (Ken Bates) for a thoughtful interpretation of the article. Now, Mr. Bates, if you are out there somewhere, please contact us. We'd like to send you a subscription to LTC Bullets and a complimentary copy of LTC Choice.
Stephen A. Moses's article outlining the history of the middle class's dependence on Medicaid-financed nursing homes for long-term care...illustrates once again the law of unintended consequences and the truth of the old adage, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
As Moses points out, just when a prosperous private market
in affordable long-term care for the elderly was beginning to
emerge in the 1960s, the federal government--with every good intention--came
along and smothered it at birth with a Medicaid (i.e. taxpayer)-financed
long-term care program that provided cheap and easy access to
subsidized nursing home care. And now that significant problems
have emerged in the wake of the public's predictable flocking
to the Medicaid option, the "entitlement paradigm" Moses
speaks of prevents any serious steps being taken toward the best
solution to the problem-the development of a widespread, low-cost,
private long-term care insurance industry.