Government and private insurance should take a bigger role in paying for long-term care: survey – News

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Government and private insurance should not only take a bigger role in paying for long-term care, but policies should be adopted to help seniors prepare for these costs, according to a new study.

The “Support for an increased role of government in health care for the elderly” An Associated Press-NORC Center of Public Affairs study found bipartisan support for a host of policies aimed at helping pay the costs of long-term care and caregiving, many of which would involve an expanded role for the federal government.

Long Term Care Support

According to the poll, American adults believe that private health insurers (60% of respondents) and the Medicare program (57%) should have a greater responsibility in paying the costs of long-term care. Fifty-three percent of respondents said the same about the Medicaid program, while 26% said responsibility should rest with individuals and 23% said it should rest with families.

Older people particularly support policies aimed at helping to pay the costs of long-term care; 83% of respondents said they support long-term care coverage through Medicare Advantage or supplemental insurance, 78% said they support employer long-term care insurance plans, 75% support tax breaks for buying long-term care insurance, 73% supported government funding for low-income people to receive long-term care at home, 72% supported tax-free funds to pay insurance premiums long-term care insurance and 69% support a government-supported long-term care insurance program.

There was also broad support for expanding Medicare into new areas of coverage, including long-term care (81%), dental care (87%), eye exams (87%) and hearing aids (86%).

Health coverage

Overall, 66% of respondents said the federal government is responsible for ensuring that all Americans have health insurance coverage. Interestingly, 73% of respondents aged 18-49 agreed with this statement, while 58% of respondents aged 50+ agreed. The study found that 47% of older respondents were more supportive of government policies that address the costs of care, while 38% of young adults were more supportive of universal healthcare coverage.

Most respondents (62%) said they thought paying more taxes to keep health care cheaper was worth it.

The majority of respondents indicated support for changes to the US healthcare system that involve increased government involvement. More than half (58%) favor a public option to purchase health insurance through the government. More than two-thirds (68%) said they supported requiring government and private insurance plans to cover telehealth, and 80% said they supported allowing the federal government and private insurance to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs.

At the same time, public satisfaction with the state of health care in general and for older people appears to be low, with only 12% of respondents agreeing that health care in general is “very” or “extremely” well managed in the United States. Even fewer agree that health care for older people (11%), community support and resources for older people (11%) and quality of care in nursing homes (6%) are well managed.


A majority of adults expressed support for the government’s investment in COVID-19 care, including treatments (69%), vaccines and boosters (67%) and testing (64%), but many also expressed concern about the country’s ability to weather another pandemic. Only 13% of respondents said they thought the country was extremely or very well prepared to deal with a future public health emergency.

The AP-NORC center study was funded by the SCAN Foundation and included 1,505 interviews with adults between July 28 and August 1.