The legal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has sent a letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the National Association of State Medicaid Directors warning that Stephen Moses (right) and his Center for Long-Term Care Reform are not independent experts on long-term care but are a "front for the long-term care insurance industry." Policymakers should beware of "the agenda hidden behind the facade of a public policy institute," the letter warns.
Moses has long advocated restricting Medicaid eligibility to promote the purchase of long-term care insurance policies. The CREW letter comes as Moses is about to embark on a year-long "National Long-Term Care Consciousness Tour," starting in January 2008. Moses will spend two months in each of six regions of the country, where his plans include making "political contacts with Governors, state legislators, city council members, Congressional representatives, state Insurance Commissioners, Medicaid directors and their staffs toward the end of improving long-term care public policy," according to his Web site.
"Any state Medicaid director who meets with Mr. Moses should at least be aware that he is not merely a disinterested public policy expert expressing his personal opinion, but rather, is paid to express the views of the long-term care insurance industry," wrote CREW executive director Melanie Sloan, the letter's author. Moses has been soliciting corporate and organizational sponsorships of the tour, according to the letter.
"For nearly a decade," Sloan's letter goes on, "Mr. Moses has posed as an independent expert from a respected think tank, advocating that low and middle income Americans purchase long-term care insurance. . . . In fact, however, the Center is funded by the long-term care insurance industry." In support of this claim, the letter quotes correspondence between the Center and the Internal Revenue Service, as well as the Center's fundraising appeals to the long-term care insurance industry.
Despite these insurance industry ties, the letter quotes a Center fundraising appeal claiming that "our established credibility as an independent third-party voice allows us to perform in essential roles that no one else can fill for reasons of perceived bias and self-interest."
"Mr. Moses, as an alleged 'expert' on long-term care insurance," the letter states, "never acknowledges any of the problems in the long-term care industry. Instead, he works to persuade states and the federal government to enact changes to the law to force more middle and lower income Americans to purchase long-term care insurance that they can ill afford."
ElderLawAnswers learned of the CREW letter from Elder Law Prof Blog.
To read the CREW letter, go to: http://www.citizensforethics.org/files/Roherty%20NASMD.pdf
For the organization's press release on the letter, go to: http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/30536