By Howard Gleckman :: February 9th, 2012
We’ve all seen the articles in Forbes, Kiplingers, or U.S. News trumpeting the best states to live in retirement. A key measure for them all: Low taxes. What you may not know is that states actively compete with one another to provide tax breaks to older residents—especially to wealthy seniors. This competiton is similar to the way […]
By Howard Gleckman :: July 21st, 2011
The bipartisan deficit reduction plan proposed by the so-called “Gang of Six” senators includes very few specifics. Oddly, one would repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. CLASS, a national, voluntary long-term care insurance program, was included as part of the 2010 health reform. Despite its obscurity, it is the only provision […]
By Howard Gleckman :: March 24th, 2011
The Community Living Services and Supports (CLASS) Act is an extraordinary case study in both budget and health care politics, and in the toxic political environment in which those of us in Washington live. And it puts a critical question into stark focus: Exactly how do we, as a society, want to provide for the […]
By Howard Gleckman :: July 27th, 2010
In a Washington Times column today, two Heritage Foundation researchers argue that the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act is a trillion dollar government bailout waiting to happen. The CLASS Act is a national voluntary long-term care insurance program that was included in the new health care law. And to listen to the authors, you’d think CLASS will make Fannie Mae look like a Salvation Army Christmas kettle.
By Howard Gleckman :: December 3rd, 2009
Though it has attracted little attention, a bill called the CLASS Act has the potential to fundamentally change the way we think of government social policy. It also runs the risk of becoming yet another costly unfunded entitlement. Congress will decide over the next few months.
The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act would create a new national voluntary long-term care insurance program to help pay for the personal care of both the frail elderly and younger adults with disabilities. It would provide a basic lifetime cash benefit funded through an optional payroll deduction.
By Howard Gleckman :: November 3rd, 2009
Long-term care insurance has been a model of market failure. The need for care in frail old age or disability seems to be the ideal insurable event. Two-thirds of those over 65 will need some assistance before they die and 20 percent will need it for more than five years. Yet only about 6 million people own this insurance, and few seem interested in buying.
By Howard Gleckman :: May 27th, 2009
I am not just a tax wonk. For the past couple of years, when I wasn’t blogging on TaxVox, I was writing a book on long-term care. Caring for Our Parents critiques what is a completely irrational system for delivering and paying for these services. I had the great fortune of being able to tell this story through the eyes of both those who are receiving assistance and their families.
About 10 million Americans need this care, and as many as 40 million of us help family members and friends—either the frail elderly or those with disabilities. Long-term care is hugely expensive. On average, a year in a nursing home costs $75,000 and home health aides cost $19 per hour. In 2007, we spent $230 billion on paid assistance. But that pales in comparison with the economic value of informal care provided by family members, which AARP estimates at $375 billion.