Pallone Leads Roundtable to Address Long-term Care Issues
PISCATAWAY, NJ — Today, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06) led a roundtable discussion to address the state of long-term care in the United States, as well as the current issues confronting long-term care in New Jersey. Aging individuals and those with disabilities face enormous challenges when paying for services that help them remain independent, be economically stable, and receive necessary care. During the discussion, the group addressed the large burdens that long-term care options place on families, businesses, and government programs, as well as the legislative and regulatory priorities moving forward. The roundtable was held at the Francis E. Parker Memorial Home in Piscataway, New Jersey.
“Long-term care is the one major health expense for which nearly all Americans are uninsured,” said Congressman Pallone. “In fact, nearly 7 in 10 people will need some level of long-term care after turning 65 for an average of three years. And that does not include so many young, healthy people who fall victim to life-altering events that leave them in need of long-term care services.”
“The U.S. population is aging rapidly with 15 million Americans requiring long-term care over the next decade,” added Pallone. “These sobering statistics remind us that something must be done now to address long-term care access in this country. These issues affect us all at some point in our lives. We have a responsibility to ensure that we address the care needs of an aging population in both an affordable and accessible way.”
Congressman Pallone has been a long-time leader in addressing national efforts to address these critical issues regarding long-term care in the United States. Through his efforts, a national insurance program to pay for long term care, services and supports became part of the Affordable Care Act. This program, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS), was, unfortunately, repealed by Congress, leaving unresolved these pressing issues.
Heather Howard, lecturer in Public Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and former New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, served as the roundtable’s moderator. “The conversation about long-term care in this country is a critical and complex one,” said Howard. “Aging adults must be able to access to high quality long-term health and supportive services that will not automatically bankrupt them or their families. They must have affordable options that meet their care needs, while also recognizing the dignity of each person. I think it is crucial that we continue having conversations like this in order to address these concerns and I applaud Congressman Pallone and all the participants for their engagement.”
“Long-term care becomes a reality for so many of us eventually, which is exactly why we must be having important discussions like this frequently” said Roberto Muñiz, President and CEO of the Francis E. Parker Memorial Home. “Being in a safe and secure environment that enhances the quality of life in old age is something that every person deserves, and we must ensure that it is available to all. I am glad we could host these distinguished speakers today and thank them for tackling these issues.”
Congressman Pallone was joined by a renowned group of stakeholders, providers, insurers, policy experts and consumers who offered their unique perspectives regarding long-term care in this country. Participants included Sarah M. Adelman of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans; Chrissy Buteas of the Home Care Association of New Jersey; Jon Dolan of the Healthcare Association of New Jersey; Theresa Edelstein of the NJ Hospital Association; Judy Feder of Georgetown University and member of CLASS Commission; Connie Garner of Advance CLASS; Jennifer Jacobs of Amerigroup New Jersey; C. Brian McGuire of AARP New Jersey; Michael Ogg, a retired physics professor, LTC consumer and PACE participant; Erhardt Preitauer of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey; Ashley Ridlon of Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network; Milly Silva of 1199SEIU; Douglas A. Struyk of the Christian Health Care Center; and Dr. Steven Landers of the Visiting Nurse Association of New Jersey.