President Obama has finally chosen his three members of the 15-member Commission on Long-Term Care, which means the body can now get down to the work of proposing a plan to deliver and fund long-term care services. The White House picks join 12 commission members appointed by Democratic and Republican congressional leaders.
The commission was created as a substitute for the canceled CLASS Act in the “fiscal cliff” budget deal worked out at the start of the year. The panel now has six months to come up with a "comprehensive, coordinated and high-quality system" for making long-term care services available to seniors and people with disabilities, and recommend legislation.
President Obama’s choices for the Commission are: Henry Claypool, executive vice president of the American Association of People with Disabilities; Julian Harris, MD, the Massachusetts Medicaid director; and Carol Raphael, vice chair of the AARP board of directors. (Read more about the biographies of the President's Commission appointees in the White House press release here.)
The choice of Claypool fills one of the gaps identified by Forbes contributor Howard Gleckman: someone to represent the views of those with disabilities. But the Commission will not have a member explicitly representing the nation’s multitude of family caregivers.
Gleckman, who has been following the Commission's formation, notes in a follow-up column that the commission has no budget, and so "its staff will be made up of congressional and administration aides. Additional support will probably be provided by the organizations that are represented on the commission. However, the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that took effect earlier this month are likely to make it tougher to find quality staff from within the Obama Administration, since government agencies are already facing staff furloughs."
Below are the other 12 Commission members:
Javaid Anwar, a Nevada physician who served as chair of Nevada‘s Committee on Access to Health Care
Laphonza Butler, president of the United Long-Term Care Workers Union
Dr. Bruce Chernof, President of the SCAN Foundation, a charity working to improve health care for seniors
Judy Feder, a professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute who was a staff director of the 1989-90 Pepper Commission and a senior health aide in the Clinton administration
George Vradenburg, a philanthropist and founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s
Judith Brachman, a former director of the Ohio Department of Aging who chairs the Jewish Federation of North America’s Aging and Family Caregiving Committee
Bruce Greenstein Louisiana’s Secretary of Health and Hospitals
Stephen Guillard, a nursing home executive who has been CEO of HCR ManorCare and was chairman of a trade group that represents large for-profit nursing home companies
Neil Pruitt, chairman and CEO of UHS-Pruitt Corporation, a long-term care provider, and board chair of The American Health Care Association, the largest trade group representing nursing homes and other senior care providers
Grace-Marie Turner, founder and president of the Galen Institute, a research organization that promotes free-market ideas for health reform
Mark Warshawsky, a pension expert who was a Treasury official under President George W. Bush