LTC Bullet: Standing Guard

Friday, June 15, 2018


LTC Comment: Private LTC financing is constantly under attack by scholars representing financially well-endowed think tanks, advocacy organizations, government agencies and by the media that broadcast their message. We’ve fought back for 20 years. Here’s how.



LTC Comment: The Center for Long-Term Care Reform celebrated our 20th year last April. In those two decades, we’ve analyzed, criticized and rebutted just about every study, report, article or commission that attacked private financing or promoted government financing of long-term care. We’ve identified ideological bias by scholars, think tanks, advocacy organizations and the media. We’ve denounced their confirmation bias when they ignore evidence contradicting their preconceptions. We’ve refuted fallacies in their logic. Today’s LTC Bullet includes links to six dozen LTC Bullets we’ve published taking these groups and individuals to task:

Media: Consumer Reports, National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting System (PBS), New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Dow Jones MarketWatch

Organizations: National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA, Medicaid planners’ trade association), AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Leading Age (formerly American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, LTC provider trade association)

Thinktanks or companies: Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), Georgetown Long-Term Care Financing Project, Urban Institute, Avalere, SCAN, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, LTC Collaborative

Government Agencies and Commissions: Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Medicaid Commission, the Long-Term Care Commission, Congressional Research Service (CRS), Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicare Trustees, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Scholars: Ellen O'Brien, Peter Kemper, Harriet L. Komisar, Lisa Alecxih, Timothy Waidmann, Korbin Liu, Judith Feder, Richard W. Johnson, Joshua Wiener, Mark Merlis, Lee Shirey Thompson, Anne Tumlinson, Christine Aguiar, Molly O'Malley Watts, Diane Rowland, David G. Stevenson, Marc A. Cohen, Janemarie Mulvey, Sudipto Banerjee, Richard G. Frank, Neale Mahoney, Howard Gleckman, Leora Friedberg, Wenliang Hou, Wei Sun, Anthony Webb, Gretchen Jacobson, Shannon Griffin, Tricia Neuman, Karen Smith, Norma B. Coe, and Melissa M. Favreault

Speaking truth to power is a mostly thankless job. Please review the efforts we’ve made to correct attacks on you for supporting responsible long-term care planning. Browse the following LTC Bullets’ titles and teasers. Pick a few to download and read in full. Then, if you find value in our work, please support the Center for Long-Term Care Reform by becoming a member or making a contribution. Contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or to join our fight for rational long-term care financing policy.                                      

LTC Bullets Standing Guard 

LTC Bullet: More Bad Advice from Consumer Reports, November 15, 1999
LTC Comment: Individuals and organizations most critical of private long-term care insurance are usually the ones lining their pockets with Medicaid estate planning profits.  

LTC Bullet: They're Baaaack . . . Medicaid Planners Rise Again, April 25, 2001
LTC Comment: Ever since Congress and then-President Bill Clinton nailed them with mandatory estate recovery (OBRA '93), "Throw Granny in Jail" (HIPAA '96) and "Throw Granny's Lawyer in Jail" (BBA '97), the Medicaid estate planning attorneys have laid low. No longer.

LTC Bullet: "Nursing Home Care Virtually Free For Life," Tuesday, May 7, 2002
LTC Comment: What follows is a transcription of excerpts from a professionally produced and mass-distributed videotape from a man and his company who promise lifelong free long-term care.

LTC Bullet: Medicaid Planners Confess, October 2, 2003
LTC Comment: A survey intended to exonerate Medicaid planners is actually the strongest indictment of artificial impoverishment yet. 

LTC Bullet: Where There's Smoke, There's Fire, May 18, 2005
LTC Comment: Our critique follows of "Medicaid's coverage of nursing home costs: Asset shelter for the wealthy or essential safety net?" by Ellen O'Brien of the Georgetown Long-Term Care Financing Project.

LTC Bullet: LTC Bombshell, June 29, 2005
LTC Comment: Results from a poll of state Medicaid programs by a Congressional office with subpoena power may blow the lid off a carefully orchestrated cover-up of Medicaid planning abuses. Lists, summarizes and analyzes studies that pooh-pooh Medicaid planning.

LTC Bullet: Alzheimer's Association Shortsighted on LTC Financing, July 6, 2005
LTC Comment: The Alzheimer's Association's public position on Medicaid reform and long-term care financing is a classic example of how good intentions invite unintended consequences.

LTC Bullet: GAO on TOA Underwhelms, October 5, 2005
LTC Comment: The Government Accountability Office's new report on Medicaid asset transfers asks the wrong questions, uses the wrong data, and so provides few helpful answers.  

LTC Bullet: NPR Defends Medicaid Planning, Attacks Messenger, January 4, 2006
LTC Comment: National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" show took a slanted swipe at responsible Medicaid reform yesterday while defending Medicaid planning abuse. Hear the broadcast version, followed by our side of the story.

LTC Bullet: Georgetown, GAO and Kaiser: The Bermuda Triangle of Good LTC Policy, January 25, 2006
LTC Comment: LTC doubletalk is not the exclusive province of Medicaid planners and AARP lobbyists. Otherwise often reliable analysts get long-term care policy wrong too. 

LTC Bullet: LTC Victory, February 2, 2006
LTC Comment: The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 passed yesterday curbing Medicaid abuse and unleashing LTC Partnerships. Celebrate? Sure. But don't take a victory lap until you consider what can go wrong. 

LTC Bullet: Microsimulate This!, March 28, 2006
LTC Comment: The fundamental things apply as time goes by--like "garbage in, garbage out." Take for example a recent Inquiry article that estimates future public and private LTC costs. Our critique follows. 

LTC Bullet: Kaiser Cover-Up Continues," April 27, 2006
LTC Comment: Urban Institute "scholars," aided and abetted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, employed an underhanded straw man argument in the foundation's latest unsuccessful attempt to debunk the impact of Medicaid planning abuse. 

LTC Bullet: Medicaid Commission Errs by Omission, August 9, 2006
LTC Comment: The national Medicaid Commission, appointed last year to fix Medicaid (including its dysfunctional LTC component) before the welfare program implodes financially, is way off track. 

LTC Bullet: The DRA Bullets, January 9, 2007
LTC Comment: Two Medicaid planners lament the DRA we praised and defended in 21 LTC Bullets last year. Their whining, our replies plus links to all the DRA Bullets follow.

LTC Bullet: Take Georgetown's Facts With a Big Grain of Salt, February 15, 2007
LTC Comment: Three new "fact sheets" from the Georgetown LTC Financing Project are spoiled by ideological bias. This Bullet critiques Medicaid's Spousal Impoverishment Protections (February 2007) , Medicare and Long-Term Care (February 2007) and
National Spending for Long-Term Care (February 2007)

LTC Bullet: GAO AWOL on LTC TOA, May 2, 2007
LTC Comment: The Government Accountability Office has again displayed stunning miscomprehension of the Medicaid eligibility, Medicaid planning and transfer of assets issues.

LTC Bullet: GAO on LTCI Partnerships, June 20, 2007
LTC Comment: GAO drops the ball again on the issues of Medicaid, long-term care financing and private insurance.

LTC Bullet: Medicaid Estate Recover. . .up, July 5, 2007
LTC Comment: Medicaid estate recovery could be a major source of non-tax revenue for the ailing LTC safety net for the poor, but AARP would tie the program in bureaucratic knots.  

LTC Bullet: The NY Compact: Analysis, Conclusions, and Recommendations, July 31, 2007
LTC Comment: Is the New York Compact the future of long-term care financing or the last gasp of an old, failed system? 

LTC Bullet: Hillary Clinton on LTC, January 3, 2008
LTC Comment: Presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton has promised a cornucopia of LTC benefits if elected. Would our service delivery and financing system be better or worse if she delivered? We comment. 

LTC Bullet: WSJ Attacks LTCI, We Respond, February 26, 2008
LTC Comment: Today's front-page Wall Street Journal article criticizing long-term care insurance was as one-sided and misguided as a similar piece published by the New York Times also during a major industry conference. We reply, same day, as follows.

LTC Bullet: NYT Asks Medicaid Planner to Advise on LTCI, July 18, 2008
LTC Comment: The New York Times added insult to injury by inviting a notorious Medicaid planner to advise readers on private long-term care insurance. We respond. 

LTC Bullet: We Critique WSJ on Medicaid Planning, January 16, 2009
LTC Comment: Within 24 hours, we replied to a Wall Street Journal column that promoted Medicaid planning for long-term care.

LTC Bullet: New LTC Financing Study Uninterpreted or Misinterpreted, March 24, 2009
LTC Comment: A new report on LTC financing by Avalere Health was reported uncritically by many and mistakenly by one source. 

LTC Bullet: LTC Clueless, May 26, 2009
LTC Comment: Consumers' denial of LTC risk and cost is nothing compared to the naiveté of professionals who should know better. 

LTC Bullet: KFF Misfires on LTCI, June 9, 2009
LTC Comment: A new study of private long-term care insurance published by the Kaiser Family Foundation fails in the usual, predictable ways. Details follow. 

LTC Bullet: How Much More Wrong Can They Get It?!, July 21, 2009
LTC Comment: Another "report" from the usual suspects gets long-term care advice dead wrong.  

LTC Bullet: We Reply to Washington Post Blast at Federal LTCI, August 14, 2009
LTC Comment: Read our reply to the Washington Post's "Federal Diary" criticism of Federal LTCI's premium increase.

LTC Bullet: CLASS Consciousness, October 21, 2009
LTC Comment: To hear Kaiser Family Foundation speakers, the CLASS Act is a no-brainer for passage and implementation. We offer a wake-up call. 

LTC Bullet: The Enemy of LTC Truth, February 8, 2010
LTC Comment: Albert Einstein said "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." See how this principle applies to long-term care.

LTC Bullet: New LTCI Report: Research or Propaganda?, June 8, 2010
LTC Comment: Is a newly updated report on LTC insurance by the Congressional Research Service really research, or CLASS Act propaganda? You decide.

LTC Bullet: CLASSless Journalism, September 21, 2010
LTC Comment: Reporting only the CLASS program's dubious benefits and none of its inevitable detriments is negligent journalism. An example follows. 

LTC Bullet: Friendly Fire in the Class War (LTC Embed Report #6), September 22, 2011
LTC Comment: Steve Moses's Congressional testimony on Wednesday was well-received except for an ad hominem attack, "friendly fire" in the class war. An explanation, witness testimonies, and a video of the hearing follow.

LTC Bullet: Moses Replies to Congressman's Questions (LTC Embed Report #11), October 13, 2011
LTC Comment: House Oversight and Government Reform Healthcare Subcommittee ranking member Danny Davis (D, IL) asked me some questions in writing after the 9/21 hearing on "Examining Abuses of Medicaid Eligibility Rules." His questions and my answers follow.

LTC Bullet: Nursing Home Spend Down Misunderstood and Late-Breaking LTCI Industry News, July 20, 2012
LTC Comment: A recent EBRI study that claims nursing home stays are wiping out Americans’ savings is based on a fallacy and mistaken. What’s really happening?

LTC Bullet: SCAN the LTC Possibilities, April 5, 2013
LTC Comment: SCAN is a fountainhead of ideas about long-term care financing, but are those ideas potable? We analyze.

LTC Bullet: What Should the LTC Commission Do?, June 21, 2013
LTC Comment: How should the LTC Commission prioritize its work and recommendations? Some thoughts follow.

LTC Bullet: Medicaid Spend Down that Isn't and Why it Matters," July 19, 2013
LTC Comment: Claiming “transitions” to Medicaid are evidence of catastrophic LTC asset “spend down” misrepresents the truth and should be publicly recanted. We answer who, what, when, where and why.

LTC Bullet: The LTC Blind, October 25, 2013
LTC Comment: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” That proverb applies perfectly to a recent column about long-term care by the Urban Institute’s Howard Gleckman.

LTC Bullet: PBS’s 6 LTC Tips Miss the Mark, November 8, 2013
LTC Comment: What’s wrong with the conventional wisdom about how to resolve America’s long-term care crisis? 

LTC Bullet: WSJ Misfires on LTC Insurance, February 14, 2014
LTC Comment: We dissect and correct a misbegotten column in the Wall Street Journal.

LTC Bullet: Who Gets Medicaid LTC?, March 28, 2014
LTC Comment: Is Medicaid a long-term care safety net for the poor, the middle class, even the affluent, all of the above? Questions remain, but answers abound. 

LTC Bullet: Will Bipartisan LTC Policy Be Better?, April 11, 2014
LTC Comment: Heads up! Consensus is coalescing around a bipartisan long-term care financing solution. Let’s be hopeful, but wary.

LTC Bullet: GAO Punts on Medicaid Planning, July 3, 2014
LTC Comment: Another GAO report underplays dramatic findings about the role, methods and extent of Medicaid planning and loose LTC eligibility rules.

LTC Bullet: Entitlement Double Talk, August 1, 2014
LTC Comment: To read the major media coverage of the 2014 Medicare Trustees report, you’d think things are looking up for the 49-year-old mega-program. Think again.

LTC Bullet: CMS Health Expenditure Data Mask LTC Cost Growth, September 5, 2014
LTC Comment: CMS actuaries’ estimates of health expenditures for 2013-2023 downplay the big story, snowballing LTC costs. We explain.

LTC Bullet: Does Medicaid Solvency Matter?," October 31, 2014
LTC Comment: CMS says Medicaid solvency “is not an issue.” We beg to differ.

LTC Bullet: IG Report Reveals Costly Medicaid Enforcement Failures, November 21, 2014 LTC Comment--The USDHHS Inspector General reports that many states failed to implement mandatory provisions in OBRA ’93 and/or DRA ’05 designed to discourage abuse of Medicaid LTC benefits. Details follow. 

LTC Bullet: IG Report Reveals Medicaid Estate Recovery Weakness, December 5, 2014
LTC Comment—A newly released USDHHS Inspector General report shows few states do Medicaid estate recoveries well resulting in a potential annual loss, we infer, of $2.5 billion. Details, numbers, and why it matters follow. 

LTC Bullet: How Careless Economists Boosted LTC Risk, December 12, 2014
LTC Comment: We explain how Boston College economists generated poor long-term care planning advice that national media unfortunately amplified.

LTC Bullet: When Bad Models Happen to Good People, January 16, 2015, guest Bullet by Stephen D. Forman
LTC Comment: We offer the last word on that Boston College fiasco of poor scholarship and bad economics. 

LTC Bullet: Holding CMS’s Feet to the Fire, February 6, 2015
LTC Comment: When a federal agency fails to enforce the law hurting the poor it’s supposed to help and costing tax payers billions of dollars, bureaucratic heads should roll. Background and details follow.

LTC Bullet: New Data on LTC Incidence, Duration, Cost and Financing Sources, July 24, 2015 LTC Comment: New numbers, better than the old numbers, but they require further clarification and explanation. 

LTC Bullet: Pandora Meets Rosy Scenario in CMS Projections, July 31, 2015
LTC Comment: The aging demographic evils in Pandora’s “box” don’t find their way into CMS actuaries’ health expenditure estimates for the coming decade. Quotes and our comments follow. 

LTC Bullet: Another LTCI Hit Job?, October 9, 2015
LTC Comment: What shall we make of this new attack on private long-term care insurance? Answers follow.

LTC Bullet: A New Revolution in Long-Term Care Financing . . . by Government, November 6, 2015
LTC Comment: Radical, disruptive changes in how government pays for long-term care are advancing rapidly. We provide background.

LTC Bullet: The Future of Long-Term Care Seen Through the Prism of History, November 13, 2015
LTC Comment: Big changes are afoot in government financing of post-acute and long-term care--changes that will rattle private LTC financing options as well. We cover the big picture.

LTC Bullet: The Arrogance of LTC Analysts' Elitism," December 4, 2015
LTC Comment: Arrogance, ideological bias and elitism spoil the recent research of abundantly endowed LTC analysts. We explain . 

LTC Bullet: Three Cheers (But Two From the Bronx) for New BPC-LTC Recommendations, February 5, 2016
LTC Comment: The Bipartisan Policy Center’s new report on long-term care leads with LTCI (hear, hear!), but makes Medicaid even more tempting (boo!) and adds a new, expensive, mandatory government program (boo!) based on faulty premises. Our analysis and critique follow. 

LTC Bullet: Losing Principles, April 29, 2016
LTC Comment: What’s happening to the basic principles of personal responsibility and self-reliance that validate private insurance? We reflect.

LTC Bullet: LTC at a Crossroads, June 3, 2016
LTC Comment: Long-term care financing policy is at a critical crossroads and may take a wrong turn. We explain. 

LTC Bullet: How the Government Ruined LTC (and We’ll Fix It), June 10, 2016
LTC Comment: Government interference in the LTC marketplace since 1965 caused harmful unintended consequences that only clear analysis and bold action can fix.  

LTC Bullet: Half a Century of Bad Medicaid LTC Policy, August 5, 2016
LTC Comment: Medicaid long-term care policy is a classic story of good intentions leading to unfortunate consequences.

LTC Bullet: Behind AHEAD, September 2, 2016
LTC Comment: The people and organizations advocating a new, compulsory, payroll-financed government program to fund catastrophic LTC expenses base their arguments on dubious sources and reasoning. Details follow.  

LTC Bullet: How Fiscal and Monetary Malfeasance Will Ruin Long-Term Care, October 7, 2016
LTC Comment: Fiscal malfeasance ($20 trillion federal debt) enabled by monetary malfeasance (artificially low interest rates) bode ill for the economy and for Medicaid LTC financing. Here’s why and how. 

LTC Bullet: Medicaid LTC Data Insights, October 14, 2016
LTC Comment: What’s happening with Medicaid LTC financing and why it matters.

LTC Bullet: What’s Wrong with Bundled and Value-Based LTC Payments? January 20, 2017 LTC Comment: Big changes are afoot in government financing of post-acute and long-term care--changes that will rattle private LTC financing options as well. We present the big picture. 

LTC Bullet: Hoist with its Own Petard , April 28, 2017
LTC Comment: This Kaiser Family Foundation “Issue Brief” blows up its own argument. We explain. 

LTC Bullet: The Broken Rhythm of Long-Term Care Reform, May 19, 2017
LTC Comment: Why did Medicaid long-term care eligibility reforms quickly follow economic recessions until the year 2000, but no longer? The answer follows. 

LTC Bullet: Is it Really Hopeless to Reduce Medicaid LTC Costs?, June 23, 2017
LTC Comment: Kaiser Family Foundation researchers despair of reducing Medicaid LTC expenditures, but their “literature review” is incomplete, misleading and risky.  

LTC Bullet: Is it Spend Down or Medicaid Planning?, July 14, 2017
LTC Comment: A lot of what passes for Medicaid “spend down” in the scholarly literature is really Medicaid planning. We explain and give examples. 

LTC Bullet: Have Your Cake Until It Eats You, March 23, 2018
LTC Comment: Americans want to have their cake (entitlements) and eat it too, but trends show this cake will eat our economy first. Scary evidence follows. 

LTC Bullet: Retirement Confidence and Asset Spend Down, April 27, 2018
LTC Comment: Two new EBRI studies shed light on how workers/retirees’ expectations and behavior differ. 

Feder Fantasy Fatally Flawed (Cohen Contribution Notwithstanding), May 4, 2018
LTC Comment: A new Feder/Cohen proposal would take long-term care out of the frying pan into the fire. 

LTC Evasion, May 11, 2018
LTC Comment: We explain what LTC scholars evade and why. 

Feder/Cohen Proposal Ignores LTC Problems’ Cause, May 18, 2018
LTC Comment: We explain how government intervention caused the dysfunctions in long-term care that Feder/Cohen seek to correct with more government intervention, including institutional bias, poor access and quality, excessive dependency on family caregiving, inadequate financing, and lack of insurance. 

LTC Policy Blinders, May 25, 2018
LTC Comment: We explain why and how LTC policy analysts evade facts that contradict their predisposed positions in favor of compulsory government LTC insurance.