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NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS GROUP SAYS NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM 'DISTORTED' WITHOUT LONG-TERM CARE BENEFIT

 /ADVANCE/ WASHINGTON, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- In testimony provided today to the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform, the National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSC) said that a health reform package without long-term care for chronic and disabling conditions would constitute a "distorted health program for the American people." The national membership groups also called for a "single-payer health system" as the best way to finance long-term care.
 The seniors' group, represented by Daniel Schulder, the NCSC legislative director, said that a health system without long-term care "would be like a transportation system without roads." Schulder told the task force headed by Hillary Rodham Clinton and members of the Cabinet that long-term care services, including "community-based services," must be "universally available" to all citizens with impairments and must be used to support "the millions of family members who provide loving and constant support to parents, children and spouses."
 Schulder called for a $15 billion program of home health services, respite services for the families of Alzheimer's disease victims, adult day care, rehabilitative services and homemaker assistance "to help keep people at home and not in nursing beds." He also said that families need help with "crushing nursing home bills" when home care no longer meets needs.
 He continued his testimony by urging Mrs. Clinton and the task force to adopt a "single-payer model health system" financed by "progressive taxes" to assure the inclusion of long-term care services in the reform package. "Millions of American families are desperate for support for their struggle to give dignified care to their loved ones," he said. "The insurance industry has failed to provide this kind of coverage; it's time for a radical and humane step -- a health care system that puts people, people of all ages with disabilities, in the first ranks of those to be served."
 The National Council of Senior Citizens, founded in 1961 in the fight for Medicare, is an organization of more than 5,000 affiliated local clubs, area councils and state councils, with a total membership of over 5 million senior activists. Together, NCSC members work for state and federal legislation to benefit the elderly and their families and advocate on behalf of senior citizens in communities across the United States.
 -0- 3/29/93/0700
 /CONTACT: Daniel J. Schulder, 202-624-9539, or Bette Cooper, 202-624-9537, both of the National Council of Senior Citizens/


CO: National Council of Senior Citizens ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: EXE

TW-DC -- DC019 -- 0196 03/26/93 17:43 EST
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Date:Mar 26, 1993
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