The idea is to create long-term care insurance that would be available
to anyone, including those who are already disabled. People would be
automatically enrolled, unless they chose to opt out, and would pay a
premium in exchange for the opportunity to receive cash benefits to
cover the cost of home care, adult day programs, assisted living or
nursing homes after they had been enrolled for at least five years.
Premiums and benefit levels would be set by federal health officials,
but advocates predict that the program would provide beneficiaries with
a minimal sum, around $75 a day.
The proposal has gained momentum in recent days as Democrats in both
the House and Senate cast about for cash to help finance a final health
package. Because the program would begin taking in premiums immediately
but would not start paying benefits until 2016, congressional budget
analysts have forecast that it would generate a nearly $60 billion
surplus over the next 10 years, cash that would help the larger
measure's balance on paper.
Here is the full story. Now reread that last sentence and ask yourself how many different ways there are to do this and whether all of them will fail to pass.