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Long-Term Care, Hardly a Mention in the Health Care Debate

The “sandwich generation” is confronted today with the dilemma that millions of other Americans already face: how to take care of loved ones who cannot do so for themselves.

The options on how to provide long-term care come as a shock to most people who find themselves in this situation. Medicare pays only for temporary nursing home stays, and regular health insurance policies don’t cover long-term care. Medicaid does, but only if a person spends down hard-earned assets to be poor enough to qualify. Oh, and when Medicaid does kick in, it tends to be skewed toward putting someone in costly nursing homes, rather than finding ways to help people stay in their own homes and communities as long as possible.

The millions of Americans who take on the caregiver burden themselves do it as a labor of love and find it utterly exhausting. Yet for all the pervasiveness of long-term care problems, possible solutions haven’t had a prominent place in this year’s health care debate. This just doesn’t seem to be the top priority on many lists.

One promising idea that deserves more attention than.

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