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Statement From Larry Minnix, President & CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, on the Senate Finance Committee Hearing 'The Role of Long-term Care in Health Reform' and the Reintroduction of the CLASS Act
Date:3/25/2009

WASHINGTON, March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Today was a monumental day on Capitol Hill for the millions of Americans who need and provide long-term services and supports.

We commend the Senate Finance Committee for examining the role of long-term services and supports in this year's health care reform. Long-term services and supports are often ignored, despite their central role in America's health care crisis. The needs are great. The costs are high. Insurance coverage is nearly non-existent. The structure of our current system makes caring for seniors and disabled adults fragmented, expensive and difficult. Every segment of our population is affected: individuals, families, employers, government programs, the medical profession and the economy. It is simply unaffordable to care.

We also applaud Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Representatives Frank Pallone (D-N.J) and John Dingell (D-Mich.) for introducing the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act of 2009. The CLASS Act calls for the creation of a publicly-driven financing plan whose premiums provide cash benefits to pay for long-term services. It is a plan built on principles that support America's families and have the potential for significant Medicaid savings. These principles have been adopted by the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) which includes more than 150 organizations representing over 100 million seniors, people with disabilities, and providers of health, housing and supportive services. Their members include organizations like AARP, SEIU and Easter Seals.

These principles include:

  1. National Problem, National Solution - Recognize that although states, communities, families, and individuals have important roles to play, financing for long-term services and supports is a national problem th
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SOURCE American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
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