And you thought long-term care operators lived in silos?

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John O'Connor, editorial director, McKnight's Long-Term Care News
John O'Connor, editorial director, McKnight's Long-Term Care News
Our Founding Fathers were wise to separate our government's executive, legislative and judicial branches. As we've seen all too often, concentrated power leads to disastrous results.

But I'm willing to bet that Jefferson, Madison and Monroe had no idea how far the various branches would grow apart.

According to many handicappers, the Supreme Court is about to give our new health law the big adios. While most of the headlines have focused on how this will affect the players at the adult table — namely docs, hospitals and the insurance companies — there's still plenty for long-term care operators to lose sleep over.

For starters, the law's demise would officially end the CLASS Act, which sets aside discretionary long-term care dollars. Another provision establishing accountable care organizations would be at risk. In addition, long-term care operators also would be denied an opportunity to participate in several demonstration and grant programs the law has kick-started.

In other words, it appears the highest court in the land is about to take funding and initiatives away from long-term care operators. So this seems like a somewhat odd time for a Senate committee to hold a hearing on how to possibly enhance funding and initiatives for long-term care.

Yet that is exactly what the Senate Special Committee on Aging did Wednesday. Various experts called for greater federal support, including expanded Medicare and Medicaid coverage, and new delivery platforms. Don't mean to sound disrespectful, but isn't that sort of like making a wish list during a tornado?

The good news here is that there's small fear of collusion between the branches of our government. In fact, it's pretty clear they live in different worlds.


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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.