The Future of Long-Term Care: What Is Its Place in the Health Reform Debate?


Publication Date: June 2009

Publisher: Tax Policy Center

Author(s): Howard Gleckman

Research Area: Health

Keywords: Health Insurance; Long-term Care; Federal Budgets & Fiscal Policy; economic inequality

Type: Paper


More than 10 million Americans require long-term care supports and services. Yet the system for delivering and paying for this assistance is deeply flawed. While most of the frail elderly and those with disabilities prefer assistance at home, many must live in nursing homes to receive Medicaid benefits, care coordination for those with multiple chronic illnesses is poor, and the system for financing care impoverishes many middle-income families. The national health reform debate allows policymakers to reconsider long-term care as well. This paper assesses proposals to restructure the delivery and financing of long-term care services.