Abstract

The growing need for long-term services and supports (LTSS) poses significant challenges to both individuals and government. This article documents the continuing failure to tackle this problem at the national level—a failure that was most recently seen in the fallout from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which included the single piece of national legislation ever enacted to comprehensively address LTSS costs: the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. The CLASS Act was passed as part of the ACA (Title 8) but was repealed in 2013. Following its demise, policy experts and some Democrats have made additional proposals for addressing the LTSS financing crisis. Moreover, significant government action is taking place at the state level, both to relieve financial and emotional burdens on LTSS recipients and their families and to ease pressure on state Medicaid budgets. Lessons from these initiatives could serve as opportunities for learning how to overcome roadblocks to successful policy development, adoption, and implementation across states and for traversing the policy and political tradeoffs should a policy window once again open for addressing the problem of LTSS financing nationally.

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