HealthcarePapers

HealthcarePapers 15(4) April 2016 : 31-35.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2016.24586
Commentary

Long-Term Commitment for Long-Term Care

Sherri Torjman

Abstract

Adams and Vanin have written a timely policy paper on financing long-term care (LTC). Because the subject is so important, the paper could be even stronger in many ways.

First, the Adams and Vanin paper explores the main drivers creating pressure to reform the financing of LTC. While it focuses primarily on population aging, the rising incidence of chronic disease is another crucial factor that will drive the need for LTC.

This commentary next examines the relative strengths and weaknesses of the proposed policy options. Financing through general tax revenues may not be politically popular but it is likely the most feasible approach given the scope of funds that will be required in the future. It would also provide the most complete coverage of the population.

Finally, the commentary identifies several relevant issues that are missing from the policy conversation. The relationship to the disability agenda is crucial because many components of LTC overlap with the provision of disability supports.

Some thoughts on next steps would also be helpful. Although most theoretical papers are not concerned with questions of implementation, the latter are vital when it comes to the complex issue of LTC.

 

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