Contact: Andrew Rush
Director, Media Services and Public Affairs

February 11, 2008


Reform of Long Term Care Financing Approved

The American Bar Association's (ABA ) House of Delegates today has endorsed a recommendation sponsored by the New York State Bar Association at its mid-year meeting in Los Angeles. A NYSBA recommendation on finding innovative ways to finance long-term care was approved by the largest voluntary professional association in the world.

NYSBA's resolution urging federal, state, territorial and local legislative bodies and governmental agencies to develop and assess innovative long-term care programs as a reasonable and fair solution to long-term care financing passed unanimously. In New York, the Association has proposed "The Compact for Long-term Care" that would allow seniors to become partners with the government in paying for their long-term medical care costs.

The recommendation was approved with one friendly amendment by the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section, which added a line that said, "The Compact is intended to be a separate, additional program from Medicaid and not intended to replace it."

New York State Bar Association President Kathryn Grant Madigan of Binghamton (Levene Gouldin & Thompson LLP) said, "As our population ages, we know that in New York and across the nation we have to find new ways to finance long-term care and reduce the burden on taxpayers, and our Compact for Long-Term Care can achieve these goals. We will continue to fight for the adoption of such a plan in New York and are pleased that the ABAis now encouraging states across the country to develop strategies, such as the Compact, to deal with this critical issue."

The Association's proposed Compact for Long-Term Care, if enacted, would promote personal responsibility by requiring the elderly and chronically disabled to pay a fair share of their long-term care costs but would also provide a financial subsidy for additional long-term care services, without requiring that the individual be impoverished to qualify. This initiative is designed to increase use of private funds for long-term care, while maintaining the safety net that Medicaid was intended to provide.

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New Yorkand the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.