LTC Bullet: Aging America's Achilles' Heel
September 1, 2005
Comment: Today, the Cato Institute
published Steve Moses's monograph titled "Aging America's Achilles' Heel:
Medicaid Long-Term Care." The
press release and a hyperlink to the paper follow the ***news.***
*** MAJOR DEVELOPMENT. The nation's Governors have formally recommended the single most important change in Medicaid eligibility to save that program as a safety net for the poor and unleash the potential of private LTC financing. According to the National Governors Association's latest policy paper, titled "Short Run Medicaid Reform" and published August 29, 2005 at http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0508MEDICAIDREFORM.PDF :
equity should be considered a countable asset in order to require individuals to
use home equity to off-set long-term and other medical expenses that would
otherwise be paid by Medicaid."
implemented, that reform would relieve Medicaid's fiscal crisis, improve the
program's ability to provide quality care for the genuinely needy, create a
stronger demand for LTC insurance and reverse mortgages, and pump desperately
needed private revenue immediately into America's nursing homes, assisted living
facilities, and home care providers. Bravo
GREAT DEBATE on Medicaid and long-term care.
Limited seating is filling fast for Steve Moses's debate with Vincent
Russo, a major New York Medicaid planner and former president of the National
Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. The
debate will take place at the Cato Institute (1000 Mass. Ave., NW in Wash., DC)
on Wednesday, September 7 at noon. Free
lunch is included. Details and a
registration form (required) are available online at http://www.cato.org/event.php?eventid=2307.
Marilyn Werber Serafini of the National Journal will moderate the
debate and Cato's Michael Cannon, whose book on health policy will be released
September 19, will offer comments. ***
FLASH UPDATE: The Cato Institute
has already received an unprecedented 100-plus pre-registrations for the
Moses/Russo debate (described above) on "Who Should Pay for Long-Term
Care?" If you can't be there
in person, be sure to catch the webcast live or in the Cato media archives at http://www.cato.org/realaudio/audiopages.html.
CAPITOL HILL BRIEFING on Medicaid and long-term care financing.
On Friday, September 9 at noon (free lunch to follow), Steve Moses will
give a briefing titled "The Trouble with Medicaid" in Room B-354 of
the Rayburn House Office Building. Details,
an online registration form and special instructions for news media may be found
Cato's Jagadeesh Gokhale, Senior Fellow and Michael Cannon, Director of
Health Policy Studies will also speak at this event, which is open to the
BULLET: AGING AMERICA'S ACHILLES'
Comment: Following is the Cato
Institute's press release announcing publication of a new "policy
analysis" titled "Aging America's Achilles' Heel:
Medicaid Long-Term Care." Read
and download the paper at http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=4376
Contact: (202) 789-5200
Long-Term Care Abuse Is Rampant
urges Congress to eliminate loopholes for long-term care recipients
-- Medicaid is a fiscal crisis waiting to happen, warns a study released today
by the Cato Institute. In
"Aging America's Achilles' Heel: Medicaid
Long-Term Care," Stephen Moses, president of the Center for Long-Term-Care
Reform, exposes how Medicaid is exploited to finance nursing home care for many
seniors who could have financed such care themselves.
explains that while Medicaid's financial eligibility rules are relatively tight
for poor women and children, "for people over the age of 65 who have
medical need for nursing-home-level care, Medicaid's eligibility rules --
contrary to conventional wisdom -- are very loose."
care (LTC) accounts for one-third to one-half of total Medicaid expenditures in
most states. A relatively small
number of Medicaid LTC recipients -- including middle and upper class seniors --
consume a disproportionate share of total program expenditures.
argues that the highly technical and varied strategies for Medicaid planning
enable and encourage LTC abuse. They
allow seniors to shield unlimited resources in their home or business when
applying for long-term care benefits and include divorce as a means to hide
assets from eligibility screeners. Writes
Moses, "There is no limit to how much wealth people can stash in exempt
assets or jettison by means of a calculated divorce settlement to become
eligible for Medicaid LTC subsidies."
author calls on Congress to eliminate loopholes that force taxpayers to finance
LTC for seniors who could finance their own care.
This entails reducing Medicaid's open-ended home exemption for LTC
recipients and placing reasonable limits on the amounts of other assets people
can shelter while applying for Medicaid LTC benefits as well as curtailing
Medicaid estate planning abuses.
Analysis #549: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=4376
policy forum "Medicaid and the Long-Term Care Crisis -- Who Should
Pay?" will be held at the Cato Institute on Wednesday, September 7 at noon.
Speakers include: Stephen Moses, Vincent J. Russo, a Certified Elder Law
Attorney, and Michael F. Cannon, director of Cato's health policy studies.
To register for this event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (202) 789-5229 by Tuesday, September 6, 2005.
Moses, president, Center for Long-Term Care Reform, Inc., http://www.centerltc.com,
Kestner, media manager, 202-789-5212, email@example.com
Pierre, director of broadcasting, 202-789-5204, firstname.lastname@example.org