Bush recognizes long-term care "challenge" in State of the Union

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President Bush called attention to the "national challenge" aging Americans pose for the nation's retirement and long-term care systems in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. He called for a commission to examine the issues.

The president received support Wednesday from the American Health Care Association for his call to establish a bipartisan commission that would examine the impact of the nearly 78 million Baby-Boom retirees. The commission would include members of Congress and determine ways to reform and reign in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending.

"Yet, while a commission can help bring together disparate ideas and ideologies, it will never supercede the bottom line necessity of ensuring the federal government adequately funds the quality long-term care it correctly demands and expects," said AHCA President and CEO Bruce Yarwood.

During the speech, the president also called for the expanded use of electronic records and other healthcare information technology. In addition, he also repeated a push for expansion of tax-advantaged health savings accounts as part of a broader move toward "consumer-directed health care."