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Bruce Chernof on Denial about Aging and Our Impending Long-Term Care Crisis


July 2nd, 2013
by Bruce Chernof

The author is president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, located in Long Beach, California. This post originally appeared on GrantWatch Blog’s sister blog, Health Affairs Blog, on June 12. It is no secret that Americans are aging, but what is too often lost in this fact is that most people will need help as […]

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What Do You Mean I’m Getting Old? Denial About Aging And Our Impending Long-Term Care Crisis


June 12th, 2013
by Bruce Chernof

It is no secret that Americans are aging, but what is too often lost in this fact is that most people will need help as they grow older. Unfortunately, America does not have a strategy to deal with this growing demand. For some, this help comes in the form of needing just a little bit of assistance in the home with cooking meals or getting groceries. For others, it is more comprehensive daily help in assisted living or nursing home care.

As Chair of the newly created federal Commission on Long-Term Care, I believe it is imperative for Americans to understand that 70 percent of us who live beyond the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care, on average for three years. This is a potentially dangerous statistic given the reality that our nation’s system of care is outdated and lacks the tools to meet the needs of our growing senior population.

To better understand Americans’ attitudes and perceptions around aging and long-term care, as well as levels of preparedness for future care, the Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national poll of adults age 40 and older with funding from The SCAN Foundation. Implications of these findings are profound considering the population of adults over 65 will nearly double to 19 percent — nearly 72 million people — by 2030.

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SCAN Foundation CEO Envisions Opportunity for Long-Term Care Solutions in New Commission


January 24th, 2013
by Bruce Chernof

This post first appeared on Health Affairs Blog on January 23. Great struggles sometimes result in unexpected opportunities.  In the waning moments of 2012, Congress remained in session to bridge partisan divides to solve the fiscal cliff impasse with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). Signing the ATRA into law also achieved policy change on […]

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Creating Realistic Long-Term Care Solutions As Part Of The Entitlement Reform Debate


January 23rd, 2013
by Bruce Chernof

Great struggles sometimes result in unexpected opportunities. In the waning moments of 2012, Congress remained in session to bridge partisan divides to solve the fiscal cliff impasse with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). Signing the ATRA into law also achieved policy change on items far beyond the tax code.

For example, the new law repealed the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) provision in the Affordable Care Act, which would have created a new, national, voluntary, long-term care insurance product. Yet the problem of how to best finance and deliver care for our vulnerable loved ones has been looming for years and endures. As a much-needed acknowledgment of this, the Congress created a new Commission to propose policy solutions to address the long-term care challenges that a growing number of Americans face.

Given the sheer magnitude of this issue, the current political climate, and the short time span for turning around a meaningful legislative proposal (six months), the Commission’s charge is nothing short of colossal. However, its creation in the wake of the CLASS repeal is an important step towards system transformation that will enable Americans to age with dignity, independence, and choice. The Commission will consist of 15 appointees, nine Democrats and six Republicans, to be named in the next month, who will report back to Congress by the summer. They must devise a plan on the financing and delivery of a comprehensive and coordinated system that ensures available long-term services and supports for people in need today, and options for Americans to plan for their future needs.

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