Long-term care reform tops agenda at AAHSA spring conference

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AAHSA President and CEO Larry Minnix
AAHSA President and CEO Larry Minnix
The stakes have never been higher at the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging's annual spring conference and exhibition, the group's leader told McKnight's on Monday in Washington.
"Healthcare reform is on the [legislative] agenda and it looks like it will really happen," said Larry Minnix, president and CEO of AAHSA. "And we can be a part of it, or not. We must make the case that it's short-sighted not to include long-term care," Minnix said. "I've told our members this is the most important one of these things we've done."
The conference, a gathering of nonprofit facility owners and executives, started Monday and will be held until Wednesday. Today, providers from around the country will fan out on Capitol Hill visiting and lobbying their respective federal lawmakers.

Minnix said while some might wonder whether healthcare or long-term care reform should come first, Minnix said the point should be that "long-term care is healthcare." "Senator (Ted) Kennedy understands it and this is what the CLASS Act is all about," Minnix said, referring to legislation that would implement a long-term care financing plan. "Hopefully it can be at least the placeholder for the discussion."
The argument that long-term care reform simply will be too expensive should be a moot point, he added. He also discounted those who advocate for private long-term care insurance credits: "Even in the best of circumstances, it helps just a few."