Washington, DC – Last week, the Commission on Long Term-Care voted on recommendations that will be included in a final report to Congress, with the goal of renewing a national effort to address the issues and challenges of accessing affordable long term services and supports faced by millions of Americans. The Arc commends the Commission on Long-Term Care for bringing attention to the serious crisis confronting our nation. Unfortunately, given the unrealistic time frame and lack of adequate resources, the Commission was not able to reach consensus on the most critical issue facing our country – financing accessible, affordable long term services and supports for those who need them when they need them.
“Many family caregivers have told me that their biggest fear is what will happen with their adult son or daughter with a disability after they die. Our research shows that nearly two-thirds of families don’t have a plan and they need help. We must act now to find solutions so that seniors and people with disabilities can remain in their communities and obtain vital and affordable home and community based services. Unfortunately, this latest effort failed to produce hope for families that include people with disabilities,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc.
The Commission on Long-Term Care was established under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law January 2, 2013. The Commission was given just six months to develop a plan to address this crisis which has plagued our country for decades, and provide Congress with recommendations for legislative action.
“We understand that the Commissioners did not have enough time to fully address the complexities of ensuring long-term services and supports for those who need them. However, the importance of long term services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities cannot be overstated. It is now imperative that Congress act responsibly to address the pending crisis in long term services and supports for seniors and people with disabilities. The ball is in their court, and they have a responsibility to all of us to act,” added Berns.
The Arc believes that the principles of addressing the needs of people of all ages, helping people avoid lifetime impoverishment, ensuring that all working people can be covered, and focusing on community based services should be the basis of any reform.