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LeadingAge VP Barbara Manard
LeadingAge VP Barbara Manard
Q: The CLASS Act, with its first ever proposed long-term care daily benefit, is causing unusually high optimism as of this writing, isn't it?

A: We're thrilled with how it's going. It's marvelous to have so much support on both sides of the aisle.

Q: This closely mirrors AAHSA's proposal, doesn't it?

A:  Yes, but neither the AAHSA plan nor the Senate HELP Committee plan dictates what the exact dollar (daily benefit) must be. Just the average benefit should not be less than $50 per day. It could be $50, for example, for two ADLs and $100 for four or more ADLs.

Q: Any big misperceptions on this legislation?

A:  This is not trying to pay for the full cost of a nursing home room. It is supposed to be a “foundational” benefit. Even if it is $50 per day, that's about $18,000 per year and absolutely nothing to sneer about.

Q: But as of mid-July this was still far from a “done” deal, right?

A: There are like seven more levels to go. We just got over one mountain. Next, it's to make sure its in the House bill.  I've been working for 30 years in this area and this is the greatest progress I've seen on post-acute care, long-term care services and support.