Resident fellow at the Urban Institute, is author of "Caring For Our Parents" and a frequent writer and speaker on long-term care issues.
There are two separate problems that led to the shortage of health care workers to treat the elderly and disabled.
Sen. Ted Kennedy's long-term care insurance proposal leaves an important question unanswered: How much would the the premium be?
Once a senior begins receiving long-term care services, she and her family often are in for two shocks. The first is that Medicare won’t pay beyond perhaps a few months after a hospitalization. The second is that while Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor, may help, chances are it will only do so for nursing home residents.
Sen. Ted Kennedy is vowing to make long-term care insurance part of health reform. But even he has an uphill struggle to make sure it's included in any broad-based bill.