The federal government should consider expanding the Medicare program to create “a more comprehensive environment for providing care to those requiring long-term supportive services (LTSS),” Marilyn Moon, senior vice president of the American Institutes for Research, told the federal Commission on Long-Term Care at its Aug. 1 hearing.
The current “makeshift patchwork of public and private programs,” she added, is inefficient and inadequate.
Yesterday’s meeting was the third public hearing scheduled by the commission. Topics included strengthening Medicare and Medicaid for LTSS; strengthening private long-term care insurance; and the interaction of insurance, private resources and Medicaid.
The Medicare program, despite those who think otherwise, has been “remarkably successful,” Moon said in written remarks to commissioners. “It has provided care to the sickest members of our society at rates lower than what would be the case in the private market—both in terms of absolute amounts and in rates of growth over time, it has innovated many changes in the healthcare system, and it is among the most popular of government programs,” added the former public trustee of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.
Additional presenters included representatives from the Alexander Group, the Brookings Institution, California Health Advocates, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Federal Reserve of Chicago, Harvard Medical School, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, MACPAC, TennCare, the Urban Institute, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the University of Illinois. PowerPoint presentations, as well as video of the hearing, are online.
Additional hearing dates will be Aug. 19 and 29.