AUCD Statement on Long-Term Care Commission Report

September 18, 2013


pdf File AUCD Statement on Initial Long-Term Care Commission Recommendations Press Release (117KB) [download]

The Association of University Centerson Disabilities (AUCD) thanks the commissioners for their service and dedication to this important issue, but is disappointed that the commission did not provide a comprehensive or actionable recommendation on the financing of long-term services and supports (LTSS).

The recommendations released today include good ideas to rebalance LTSS toward community services, create more integrated service systems, improve service quality, recognize the importance of family caregiving, and address some of the challenges facing the direct care workforce. Most are important changes discussed by the field for many years. However, the recommendations do not to provide a solution to the most burning problems facing families and individuals in the US: how to face the substantial financial burden of long-term needs (see full report).If the commission has failed, they have failed at an impossible task. Congress created the commission as part of the repeal of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Financing is the single biggest obstacle facing American families needing LTSS today and the voluntary social insurance CLASS program was the closest we have come to a solution. The nation desperately needs a comprehensive solution to our LTSS financing crisis. Instead of making necessary fixes to the existing CLASS program, Congress repealed it and created a commission tasked with solving the very problems that the repeal of CLASS had just perpetuated.

AUCD stands by its statement of January 2012 that Congress took a step backward on an important policy issue in the repeal of CLASS. While our LTSS system needs improvement in many of the areas that the commission outlined, financing for long-term needs is the key issue facing families and individuals today and the one issue on which the Commission could not provide a recommendation. AUCD supports the five commissioners who voted "no" on the report and issued their own recommendations including a public social insurance financing mechanism.