Daschle: Nursing home administrators should organize politically to boost awareness of long-term care

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Photo by Ralph Alswang at the Center for American Progress
Photo by Ralph Alswang at the Center for American Progress
Congress needs to better understand the role of long-term care in healthcare reform, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said at a healthcare quality summit in Washington this week.

If each nursing home administrator and state long-term care association became politically engaged and organized, providers should be able to significantly elevate the level of attention given to long-term care issues, Daschle told the crowd. Though he admitted Congress doesn't fully understand how important long-term care is in addressing the many facets of healthcare reform, Daschle acknowledged an "awakening" among some members of the House and Senate.

At another Washington healthcare roundtable discussion held this week, Peter Thomas from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities highlighted a potential problem with one provision in the new House healthcare reform bill. The measure, which is designed to save roughly $800 million over 10 years, could seriously limit beneficiary access to powered wheelchairs, he said. The measure would prevent Medicare from purchasing certain classifications of powered wheelchairs with a lump-sum payment.