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The coming long-term care crisis

Meagan Day, Jacobin Magazine, www.jacobinmag.com (US)

Americans are aging, and millions will be unable to afford long-term care. The only way to avert social catastrophe is to implement a Medicare-for-All system with comprehensive long-term care benefits. By 2050, one in five US residents will be of retirement age. As we hurtle headlong toward this reality, we face a choice: we can either invest public money in comprehensive long-term care for seniors, or not.

If we don’t, the consequences will be grim. The average annual cost for a home health aide tops $50,000. The annual cost of a private nursing home room now exceeds $100,000, and it’s rising. At present, Medicare does not cover most long-term care needs; seniors often find that their best option is to deplete their life savings so they can qualify for Medicaid. But even then, benefits are limited, and the costs of home health aides and institutional care are not fully covered. Private insurance that covers long-term care is too expensive for many seniors, leaving them at the whim of the threadbare social safety net.

Read the rest here:
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/10/long-term-care-crisis-seniors-medicare-aging

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