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LTC Bullet: Rep. Shays Reintroduces LTC Resolution

Tuesday January 12, 1999

Seattle--

Congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut has reintroduced his excellent "LTC Resolution" with 30 co-sponsors. The Center for Long-Term Care Financing endorses the Shays resolution. We encourage readers to distribute this LTC Bullet, like all the others, as widely as possible. Let your support for the principles it upholds be known to Congress and the media. Little by little, progress is being made.

106th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. CON. RES. 8
Expressing the sense of Congress with respect to promoting coverage of individuals under long-term care insurance.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 6, 1999

Mr. SHAYS (for himself, Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut, Mr. GREENWOOD, Mr. LIPINSKI, Ms. DUNN, Mr. SANDLIN, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. FARR of California, Mr. CANADY of Florida, Mr. HALL of Texas, Mr. HOBSON, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey,
Mr. FORD, Mr. REGULA, Mr. LAFALCE, Mr. BOEHLERT, Ms. DELAURO, Mrs. MORELLA, Mr. BOYD, Mr. WHITFIELD, Mr. BALDACCI, Mr. DAVIS of Florida, Mr. WEYGAND, Mr. MALONEY of Connecticut, Mr. STENHOLM, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. MINGE, Mr. NADLER, Mr. ENGLISH, and Mrs. KELLY) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce, and in addition to the Com- mittees on Education and the Workforce, and Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of Congress with respect to promoting coverage of individuals under long-term care insurance.

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),

(a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:

(1) As the baby boom generation begins to retire, funding Social Security and Medicare will put a strain on the financial resources of younger Americans.

(2) Medicaid was designed as a program for the poor, but in many States Medicaid is being used for middle income elderly people to fund long-term care expenses.

(3) In the coming decade, people over age 65 will represent up to 20 percent or more of the population, and the proportion of the population composed of individuals who are over age 85, who are most likely to be in need of long-term care, may double or triple.

(4) With nursing home care now costing $40,000 to $50,000 on average per year, long-term care expenses can have a catastrophic effect on families, wiping out a lifetime of savings before a spouse, parent, or grandparent becomes eligible for Medicaid.

(5) Many people are unaware that most long-term care costs are not covered by Medicare and that Medicaid covers long-term care only after the person's assets have been exhausted.

(6) Widespread use of private long-term care insurance has the potential to protect families from the catastrophic costs of long-term care services while, at the same time, easing the burden on Medicaid as the baby boom generation ages.

(7) The Federal Government has endorsed the concept of private long-term care insurance by establishing Federal tax rules for tax-qualified policies in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

(8) The Federal Government has ensured the availability of quality long-term care insurance products and sales practices by adopting strict consumer protections in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS- It is the sense of the Congress that--

(1) the Federal Government should take all appropriate steps to inform the public about the financial risks posed by rapidly increasing long-term care costs and about the need for families to plan for their long-term care needs;

(2) the Federal Government should take all appropriate steps to inform the public that Medicare does not cover most long-term care costs and that Medicaid covers long-term care costs only when the beneficiary has exhausted his or her assets;

(3) the Federal Government should take all appropriate steps not only to encourage employers to offer private long-term care insurance coverage to employees, but also to encourage both working-aged people and older citizens to obtain long-term care insurance either through their employees or on their own;

(4) appropriate committees of Congress, together with the Department of Health and Human Services and other appropriate Executive Branch agencies, should develop specific ideas for encouraging Americans to plan for their own long-term care needs; and

(5) the congressional tax-writing committees, together with the Department of the Treasury should determine whether the tax rules for long-term care insurance need to be modified to ensure that the rules adequately facilitate the affordability of long-term care insurance.
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