In a column in the Oakland [CA] Tribune, Washington insiders Cokie and Steven V. Roberts call for approval of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act. The measure, part of the health care bill, would allow workers to pay into a fund that would then pay a stipend if they become disabled.
CLASS, they say, could “make all the difference” for families facing the economic and emotional stress of long-term disability. It could allow an elderly person to pay for care at home instead of being forced to go into a nursing facility, or for a family caregiver to get help at home that would allow them to keep their day job. Presently, the Roberts’ say, many elderly and disabled people must impoverish themselves in order to qualify for government assistance. An excerpt:
How can pushing people into nursing homes be better than letting them stay in their houses? As a caller to a public radio program on the CLASS plan asked, “Why not try something where I can exercise my own responsibility for my future?”
Why not, indeed?
Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and a senior news analyst for National Public Radio. Steven V. Roberts appears regularly on CNN, PBS and the ABC radio network, and hosts Voice of America’s “The Roberts Report.”