Bullet: The Brave New World
of Long-Term Care
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
LTC Comment: Read
the scintillating conclusion of Steve Moses's speech at the Notre Dame
Law School, after the ***news.***
TODAY'S LTC BULLET is sponsored by Ralph Leisle and LTCi Decision
Systems, long-time supporters of the Center for LTC Reform. Ralph is creator of the "LTC Economic Impact Planning
Model" (TM) and "LTCia POM (Pool of Money) Calculator"
(TM). He strongly believes
LTC planning is equally appropriate for high net worth and traditional
clients. He advocates a
"holistic" or "estate planning" approach for all
clients, which provides objective, factual information enabling more
informed decisions. Prior to founding LTCi Decision Systems, Inc., Ralph Leisle
was a senior financial advisor focused on fee-based estate planning,
retirement planning and long term care financing.
For more information on software or consulting services, contact
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call toll-free at 1-800-360-9853, or visit LTCi Decision Systems online
at www.ltcia.com. ***
TODAY'S BULLET is our 700th since opening the Center in April
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and LTCi Decision Systems for helping us celebrate by sponsoring this
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FREE FINANCIAL PLANNING CLINIC: We
pass on the following announcement at the request of the CFP Board:
Answers from the Experts! CFP
Board invites you to attend a free Financial Planning Clinic on
Saturday, August 4, 2007, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Sheraton
Hotel in Boston, where Certified Financial Planner(tm) professionals
from around the country will volunteer their time and expertise to
answer your financial questions for free.
You will be able to speak with volunteer CFP(r) professionals
regarding any questions or concerns you might have about long-term care
planning, estate planning, retirement planning, investments, tax
planning, employee benefits planning, and many other financial topics.
For more information and to register for free, visit www.cfp.net/clinic.
LTC BULLET: THE
BRAVE NEW WORLD OF LONG-TERM CARE
LTC Comment: On
November 9, 2006, I spoke at an "Aging America Symposium"
sponsored by the Notre Dame Law School.
My remarks, titled "The Brave New World of Long-Term
Care," were published in the latest issue of the Notre Dame
Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.
To read the whole article, go to http://www.centerltc.com/pubs/Articles/Brave_New_World_of_LTC.pdf.
Here's the conclusion (footnotes omitted):
what is wrong with other proposals commonly offered to solve [the
long-term care] problem? Many
seek to solve the problems of long-term care service delivery and
financing with compulsion. They
want to force people to pay for long-term care insurance or load up
Medicare with a long-term care benefit.
That won't work, and it hasn't worked.
If excessive public financing has caused the problems we have
now, then trying to solve them by adding more government financing would
be like trying to put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline.
Social Security and Medicare have unfunded liabilities totaling
$86 trillion, at latest count [$91 trillion now].
To fix this, we would have to double payroll taxes or halve the
benefits of these programs. Neither
option is politically popular. The
more likely outcome is that these programs will be means-tested.
In other words, they will be turned into welfare programs. In time, they will lose political support in the same way
Medicaid already has. Adding
long-term care to Medicare, therefore, would be like adding deck chairs
to the Titanic after the incident with the iceberg.
is the irony: our problems
in long-term care are self-inflicted by well-intentioned but perversely
counterproductive public policy. The
good news is that the problems are easy to fix.
We can do it responsibly through public policy, or we can just
stand by and let the existing social insurance and welfare house of
cards collapse. The Brave
New World of Long-Term Care is here.
advice to you as individuals, families, and citizens is to take
responsibility for your own long-term care.
Plan early, and save, invest, or insure.
Maybe you can't solve the public policy problem alone, but you
can protect yourselves and your families.
Doing so is an important contribution.
After all, as a wag once said:
'The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them.'
my advice to you is to support targeting Medicaid to the poor, in order
to save the fraying safety net, and supplementing long-term care with
private financing sources. Do
you wonder how the new Democratic majority in Congress will lean?
Remember: some of
the most stringent controls on Medicaid long-term care eligibility in
the past came under Democratic presidents and Congresses.
Besides, for Democrats, this is a 'fairness' issue.
Why use scarce public resources to indemnify well-to-do heirs of
affluent seniors? They're
probably all Republicans anyway!
"Thank you for your attention."