LTC Bullet: LTC Predictions
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
LTC Comment: One week ago today, most people still
thought health reform, including the CLASS Act, was a slam dunk. We
disagreed. We were right then and 14 months ago! Now too. See the future,
after the ***news.***
*** NEWS MAP. At this website http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/flash/, put your mouse on a city anywhere in the world and the newspaper headlines pop up. Double click and the page gets larger. The site changes daily with the publication of new editions. Thanks to Karen Minto for this tip. ***
*** PRESS RELEASES. The Ocean State Policy Research Institute (www.oceanstatepolicy.org) published a press release titled "Study: RI Can Save Millions in Medicaid" about our joint report "Doing LTC RIght" on January 18, 2010. Read it here. The Center published our own press release on the study titled "Help for States Crushed by Medicaid Costs" on January 15, 2010. Read it here: http://www.centerltc.com/pubs/Press_Release-DoingLTCRIght.htm.
LTC BULLET: LTC PREDICTIONS
LTC Comment: At the LTCI producers' summit in Kansas City last November, I overheard a major player scoff at the idea CLASS would NOT become law.
When the Senate passed a health reform bill on Christmas Eve, several people emailed me assuming CLASS was enacted.
All along, I've said "hold your horses." This won't happen and even if it did, it would be quickly repealed.
Now we know the outcome and why. Last week, CLASS and broad-based health reform ran out of gas.
The electorate permitted Congress to approach fiscal suicide much closer than I anticipated. But in the end, sanity prevailed.
At the brink, America did an about face, led by the most unlikely parade marshal, a political oxymoron--a Massachusetts Republican.
Now it remains to see whether the Administration and Congress tackle the economy--including the national debt, deficits and unfunded entitlements liabilities--or revisit the financial precipice by pushing more taxes, spending and government expansion.
For my part, I'm sticking with the predictions I made in an LTC E-Alert just days after the 2008 presidential election.
Ever since then, we've had a hyperlink to those predictions on the Center's website at www.centerltc.com. (Look just above the "LTC Almanac" link.)
Here are our predictions again, with updates in [brackets], as originally introduced and presented in LTC E-Alert #8-110: LTC Predictions on November 14, 2008.
LTC Comment: Lately, I've heard some Panglossian prognostications about the future of health and LTC public policy.
People think the time has finally come for all they've worked for to be realized.
Universal health care? Good as done.
Tax incentives for LTC insurance? Section 125, at least, maybe above-the-line tax deductibility.
Recession? Just the usual cycle that a "New New Deal" will fix.
Sorry, but this looks to me like the victory of wishful thinking over hard economic reality.
So, I've decided to lay down a few markers. What follows are predictions. Not what I hope will happen. Rather, what I expect to happen.
Read this now. Then set it aside. Tickle your calendar to read it again in five years and ten. I will too. Let's review then. [Why wait? We're already well on our way to fulfilling these predictions.]
There you have them. Thirteen predictions. Unlucky? Maybe. But if everything plays out as I forecast, we'll come out all right in the end.
And with even a little luck, we'll preserve a vestige of the now-fraying social safety net for the most needy.
LTC Comment: 2010 update: We still have several years to run before all these predictions play out. But so far, we're right on schedule.
The outcome is promising although getting there will be tumultuous. More clear-headed thinking and objective analysis with less wishful idealism and unrealistic ideology would help.
We'll get a better idea which way the Administration is leaning tomorrow night in the President's State of the Union address.