Newt Gingrich is the only Republican presidential contender who responded to a National Council on Aging (NCOA) candidate survey.
Gingrich, a former House speaker and a former co-chair of the national Alzheimer’s Study Group, told the NCOA, Washington, that the best way to help the United States address its long-term care (LTC) needs is to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
PPACA calls for cutting LTC provider reimbursement rates, and repealing the law would eliminate those cuts, Gingrich says.
Gingrich also supports:
- Giving consumers more flexibility to use health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts to buy LTC services and long-term care insurance (LTCI).
- Providing Medicare coverage for family caregiver training and education programs.
- Giving Medicaid dollars to states in the form of block grants.
“States and their leaders understand much better than the federal government where the appropriate facilities are and how they can be wrapped into the state program,” Gingrich says.
President Obama also filled out a questionnaire.
Obama says his administration is already implementing a number of programs that should help more people with disabilities live at home.
One PPACA program has provided $2.3 billion to help people who have been living in institutions move into community settings, and another PPACA component, the new Community First Choice program, will pay for more states to offer community-based care benefits along with nursing home care benefits, Obama says.
The Obama administration has tried to help caregivers by designating 2011 as “The Year of the Family Caregiver.”
Obama says he opposes the idea of Medicaid block grant programs.
Many Medicaid block grant proposals call for capping Medicaid funding, and capping Medicaid funding could leave seniors and individuals with disabilities at risk of losing LTC services, Obama says.