Leaders applaud Finance Committee's hearing on long-term care reform

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Providers heaped praise on the Senate Finance Committee for its hearing Wednesday addressing the role of long-term care reform in general healthcare reform.

It was a "monumental day" in Washington, said Larry Minnix, president and CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. Alan Rosenbloom, president of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, praised senators on the Finance Committee's subcommittee on health for "initiating one of the most significant, consequential policy discussions we will have all year in terms of how our nation will provide high quality care and services to U.S. seniors in the years and decades ahead."

Also garnering praise Wednesday were Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), along with Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and John Dingell (D-MI). They introduced the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act of 2009, which would implement a national long-term care financing plan.  

Meanwhile, the same day, the Senate Special Committee on Aging heard an update from the Alzheimer's Study Group, a group comprised of both current and former public officials. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and California First Lady Maria Shriver all gave testimonies to the committee. O'Connor called for increased preventive measures and increased reimbursement to facilities that offer Alzheimer's care and treatment.