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Medicare currently pays for 100 days, but only after a three-day hospital stay. Medicaid pays for unlimited nursing home care as an entitlement but only provides home care reimbursement to a limited number of people after they are on a waiting list. There is a relatively simple remedy: modify Medicaid to provide the same entitlement to home and community services as those provided to nursing homes. It will help a lot of caregivers.

Opinion debate
What should the Biden administration prioritize?

  • The Editorial Board argues that since “the pandemic will not be beaten anywhere until it is defeated everywhere,” the president should engage in strong “vaccine diplomacy” in addition to national efforts.
  • Nicolas kristof Written with lenient treatment of Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia, the president risks sending a “weak message to other rogue dictators” who might consider abuses like the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
  • William ruger writes that “withdrawing our troops completely” from Afghanistan “is sound policy” and that Biden should stick to a withdrawal schedule negotiated by Trump.
  • Gail collins, Opinion columnist, writes that while Joe Biden can be understood to be busy, there is “absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t start harassing” over new gun control measures.

Stephen F. Gold
Philadelphia cream
The writer is a retired disability lawyer.

For the publisher:

I was really moved by Kate Washington’s essay and so sad for America. You’re probably sick of people writing letters saying how good their system is elsewhere. Well, here’s another one!

I’m from Australia, and while things are far from perfect, here is our experience after my husband’s catastrophic spinal injury almost two years ago. My husband spent seven months in the hospital, including intensive care and rehabilitation (free); three months of intensive physiotherapy at home (free); 12 months follow-up with the spinal awareness team (free); the option of continuing home care and physiotherapy (free).

I am her guardian, and it can still be difficult at times, but I feel I can count on community and health support when needed. I am entitled to compassionate care leave and an annual caregiver allowance of $ 3,000 whenever I need it. All for 1.5% of my income per year through my taxes while I work, and free thereafter.

Diane brown
Sydney, Australia

For the publisher:

I survived a 10 year caregiving role for my partner with Alzheimer’s disease. Death saved him eight years ago.

We unpaid caregivers hold our shrinking world together, shunned by friends who refuse to sit at a table with a patient with dementia. Families live far away, sometimes arriving for the luxury of a social visit ignoring the trials of the stressed, sleep-deprived and frantic caregiver, her world falling apart.

We write alimony checks to an ex-wife, are consumed with financial fear, enroll our loved one in clinical trials, travel for specialist advice, quit our careers, mourn the daily loss of a spouse , looking for a therapist to help us climb over obstacles.

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