Talking Points on LTSS at Healthy CA Commission Meeting
December 9th at 10:00am
Register for the Healthy California for All commission meeting HERE.
- Introduce self: name, where you live, your organization (CARA/ LTSS for All Grassroots/ other organization) and 1 sentence as to how you relate to Long-term Services and Supports (LTSS)
- I believe California must ensure that every Californian can afford and access the LTSS they need to be able to live and age in their home and communities.
- I support the creation of a universal LTSS program or benefit, inclusive of people with disabilities of all ages, those with chronic illnesses, undocumented immigrants, family-caregivers and other care providers, as well as current older adults and retirees.
- I believe that the best, most efficient, cost effective way to provide an LTSS is as part of a statewide single payer, unified financing system.
- LTSS must be part of a comprehensive benefit program, as LTSS is a lifespan issue, and benefits must be available from cradle to grave.
- Currently only 4.2% of Californians have private long-term care insurance, which is far from comprehensive, and less than 1% have access to publicly-funded LTSS benefits. Most people needing LTSS cannot afford to pay for the services for the length of time they need them, and either run out of money, depend on family members to provide care without compensation, or spend down their resources to become eligible for public programs or placed into institutions.
- As we learned at the last Healthy CA Commission meeting, based on the presentation by Ken Jacobs from the U,C. Berkeley Labor Center, LTSS could be included in the financing of a single payer system.
- The program benefits should be flexible enough to support the needs of caregiving family and friends since ⅔ of all people getting LTSS are supported completely by unpaid caregivers.
- To care for a family member who needs dedicated care, the toll on families can be significant. LTSS is as much about the freedom, mental and economic stability of the individual directly in need as it is for the family, caregivers, and larger society.
- Caregivers, tremendously valuable yet generally undervalued by society, have long suffered substandard working conditions, essentially experiencing wage theft based on low pay and unpaid hours. The health of our caregivers impacts our recipients of care and their families, and it is critical that we create a healthier ecosystem of care so that it is sustainable and beneficial to our communities in need.
- Thanks for listening.