Anti-institution bias apparent at hearing

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Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
A recent Senate hearing called on lawmakers revamping the nation's healthcare system to remember long-term care. But it seems many participants forgot that nursing homes are still a central part of the long-term care spectrum.

For the most part, the event showcased home- and community-based services, and how this option should get more policy and financial support going forward. Two panelists described benefits associated with reducing nursing home care in their states. Not one of the six people called on to testify indicated that nursing homes should play a larger role.

But while there wasn't visible support for nursing homes, it was clear that the panel viewed “long-term care” as an important component.

“Our message is a simple one: any serious health reform proposal must address long-term care,” said Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging. “My hope is that the lessons we learn and the ideas we generate [at the hearing] will be a resource,” he added.