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The New York Times “Your Money” columnist Ron Lieber recently wrote a great column that featured reasons people should support the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act program and why it’s important for all of us that the CLASS Act works.
In the article, Lieber goes beyond politics and partianship to focus on the facts facing our country if we don’t do anything to address long-term services and supports. “Here’s the blunt truth,” Lieber writes, “Medicare generally won’t pay for as much nursing home or in-home care as many people think it will. Your cash savings may well be insufficient, especially if you want to leave plenty of money for a spouse who may outlive you. Your family may not be willing or able to take care of you. And if you do spend all of your assets to qualify for Medicaid, there’s no guarantee Medicaid will pay for the quality of care you want and do so close to friends or family. So we better hope that the CLASS Act works and helps lots of Americans. Because if it doesn’t, plenty of people will be right back in denial-land again.”
Lieber’s right. Making sure the CLASS Act works is essential for our government, our economy and people’s pocketbooks. But it will not work on its own. All of us who work in aging services will have a responsibility to educate the public about CLASS not only as insurance against the costs of disability at any age, but just as important, a means to stay independent.
Here at LeadingAge, our advocacy for the CLASS Act didn’t end when the program became law. We, like Lieber, are committed to getting the CLASS Act implemented and seeing it succeed.