Planning, Providing, and Paying for Veterans' Long-Term Care
Wiener, J. M. Testimony at a Congressional Hearing, Planning, Providing, and Paying for Veterans' Long-Term Care, Prepared Remarks before the United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (2005) (Testimony of Joshua M. Wiener, PhD.), Washington, DC, May 2005
Against the backdrop of increasing need for long-term care services, the Administration’s FY 2006 budget proposes cutting back on Department of Veterans’ Affairs long-term care services. These proposals include a reduction in the number of Department of Veterans’ Affairs–provided nursing home beds, as well as a plan to limit geriatric nursing home care to service-connected conditions, catastrophically disabled persons (e.g., spinal cord injured veterans), and veterans who are at least 70 percent service-connected disabled. In addition, per diem payments and new grants for state veterans’ homes would be further limited. If enacted, these changes will reduce the availability of long-term care services in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs; veterans will have to obtain services in the general community and use other financing mechanisms or go without services. The key policy question is: Outside of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, what long-term care services are available and how are they financed, and what are the implications for veterans and third-party payers of using services outside of the Department of Veterans' Affairs system?