Latest Opinion Leaders Survey: Long-Term Care Financing A Shared Government/Individual Responsibility

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<p>Financing the nation's long-term care needs should be a responsibility shared equally by government and individuals, agrees a majority of respondents to the latest <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=20132&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2FGeneral%2FGeneral%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D331510%26%23doc331510">Commonwealth Fund Health Care Opinion Leaders survey</a>. A wide majority of the 246 respondents to the online survey also favors adding a long-term care benefit to Medicare, financed by a premium, to address the growing cost of such services.<br><br>When asked about policies to finance long-term care costs, in addition to adding a long-term care benefit to Medicare, majorities of respondents favored providing tax incentives for individuals to buy private long-term care insurance, transferring responsibility for Medicaid long-term care from states to the federal government, allowing tax-favored medical savings accounts to purchase long-term care insurance, and tightening rules and state enforcement of Medicaid asset transfer restrictions.<br><br>Financing approaches that did not receive strong support included expecting adult children to contribute in part to their parents' long-term care costs, placing responsibility solely on the government, expecting employers to contribute to their employees' long-term care costs, and requiring individuals to pay for all or most of their long-term care.<br><br>The online survey of experts, representing a range of health care sectors and diverse perspectives, is the sixth in a series conducted by Harris Interactive® for the Fund.<br><br>Complete survey results are posted on the Fund's website, along with expert commentaries by <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=20127&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D331494%26%23doc331494">John Derr</a> of the American Health Care Association; health policy scholar and former <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=20126&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D331496%26%23doc331496">Sen. David Durenberger</a>; and <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=20131&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D331767%26%23doc331767">Edward King</a> of the National Senior Citizens Law Center. Also available are a <a href="/usr_doc/HCOL_charts_1-22-05.pdf">year-end review</a> of highlights from all six surveys conducted over the past year and a list of <a href="/usr_doc/Health_Care_Opinion_Leaders_2005_FINAL.pdf">survey participants</a> who agreed to be named.</p>