Along with the rest of the nation, you are probably watching the progress of various versions of the health care legislation making their way (or not making their way) through Congress. Today’s New York Times points out that the current bill contains a “major new federal insurance program for long-term care” — although many are not aware of it.

Should it become law, the program might have a significant effect on a problem that is already bad, and promises to get worse. That is, how are we to care for members of our society who can no longer care for themselves, but might live for years? To give just one prominent example, former President Ronald Reagan revealed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 1994, but did not pass away until ten years later.

Nursing home costs have the potential to bankrupt families that are not prepared with legal planning. Drafted by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy several years ago, this federal insurance program might be an important tool in addressing the problem, but critics say it will be unsustainable. Instead of families going bankrupt paying for nursing home care, it will be the government, in their view. Read the entire article here.