At first glance, the budget agreement includes an important trade-off -- the creation of a national long term care commission ...Yet, there are elements in the measure creating this panel that are very troublesome.
Congress has averted the “fiscal cliff” for now, but there was one law that fell over the cliff anyways. The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, which was intended to deal with the issue of long-term care for seniors, has been repealed. What did politicians do to address this issue? Not surprisingly, a “commission” was formed.
The CLASS Act and the new commission formed to study the delivery (and financing) of long-term care was the subject of a Forbes article titled “Fiscal Cliff Deal Repeals CLASS Act, Creates Long-Term Care Commission.” As summarized in the title of this Forbes article, The American Taxpayer Relief Act or ATRA – does two things in the field of long-term care: first, it officially ends the CLASS Act, and second, it forms a new bipartisan commission to “tackle” the matter.
Is it a good trade-off? For starters, the CLASS Act had already been abandoned by the administration and Congress alike. On the other hand, this new commission might not find an alternative new solution. As the Forbes article notes, the commission is a “political commission” rather than a panel of subject matter experts. The commission has been given a window of six months to conduct its business.
The crisis of long-term care in America is still an important issue, and it’s hard to tell what the future holds for this matter. Now is the time for individuals to take responsibility for their long-term care, so be sure to consult competent legal counsel and your long-term care insurance agent to examine your options.
Reference: Forbes (January 1, 2013) “Fiscal Cliff Deal Repeals CLASS Act, Creates Long-Term Care Commission”