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The Politics of Caregiving and Long-Term Care

Stria Staff October 15, 2018
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Aging policy expert Robert Blancato helps us understand the impact of today’s political happenings on the longevity market. Read all four Q&A stories.

The cost of long-term care and the caregiving crisis are policy-related issues that our field talks about frequently. But they rarely seem to be on the radar of candidates running for office. Why is that?

I have found the lack of urgency around the cost of and solutions for the cost of long-term care to be vexing. I think long-term care or long-term services and supports (LTSS) is now a political imperative to address.

Caregiving has emerged as a much stronger policy and political issue in recent years. For example, two key bipartisan caregiving measures are now law (the RAISE Family Caregivers Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act). There is also a bipartisan caregiver caucus in Congress with close to 100 members.

[Blancato also thinks immigration reform could have an impact on the workforce caring for aging Americans, which he mentioned in an previous Q&A.]

Are their specific candidates in midterm races who stand out to you on the politics of long-term care or caregiving?

In terms of specific candidates, those endorsing Medicare for All certainly qualify as being interested in long-term care and caregiving.

Also, the record number of women running for Congress—should many of them win—could change the dynamics and move these issues into higher prominence.

It’s tough to name specific candidates up for reelection. But two that stand out are Senator Baldwin [of Wisconsin] and Senator Casey [of Pennsylvania].

Read all four Q&A stories.

Bob Blancato is the President of Matz Blancato and Associates, the National Coordinator of the bipartisan 3000-member Elder Justice Coalition, and the Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs. Bob has more than 20 years of service in the US Congressional and Executive branches, including senior staff of the U.S. House Select Committee on Aging and an appointment by President Clinton to be Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. More recently, Bob serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of the American Society on Aging and on the National Board of AARP. He also serves on the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

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