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CLASS should be repealed in this Congress. It is a microcosm of the problems with ObamaCare. The only reason that ObamaCare pretends to hold together is because Americans are required by federal law to purchase health insurance. If the Supreme Court rules, as it should, that its mandate is unconstitutional, ObamaCare would collapse, just as CLASS has.
Meanwhile, costs continue to rise for those in the U.S. needing long-term care. But the private sector is demonstrating how it can meet the problems far better than government, especially for the more than 5 million with incurable Alzheimer’s disease.
According to a newly released national 2011 Met-Life survey of nursing homes, assisted living, adult day services, and home care costs, national average rates for private nursing home rooms increased to $239 daily. Assisted living rates rose to $3,477 monthly, adult day services rose to $70 a day. Home health aide charges held unchanged at $21 per hour.
“Americans need to discuss long-term care with their families now, to ensure they receive the kind of care they want in the future,” said Sandra Timmermann, director of MetLife Mature Market Institute.
Some 87 percent of nursing homes provide Alzheimer’s or dementia care; of those, 80 percent charge the same rate for this care. Oversight of assisted living communities rests primarily with state agencies rather than the federal government. Several states have strengthened standards for communities with Alzheimer’s disease residents.
Seventy-nine percent of home health care agencies provide Alzheimer’s training to employees and 98 percent don’t charge an added fee for patients with the dreaded Alzheimer’s. Some adult day service centers are open seven days a week. Nearly all centers offer services to Alzheimer’s patients.
Private industry has even come up with a new invention for Alzheimer’s victims. The first shoes with built-in GPS devices — to help track down dementia-suffering seniors who wander off and get lost–are set to hit the U.S. market this month. That’s one of many innovations that ObamaCare lacks.
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