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Newly-Elected Officials Express Support for Long-Term Care Reform

It’s not a Republican issue. It’s not a Democratic issue. It’s a people issue.

It’s long-term care reform and changing the current system garnered unanimous, bipartisan support when we asked candidates their views on investing in more home- and community-based care. That’s good news for the Granite State.

Why? New Hampshire’s long-term care system is way out of balance. Over 80% of the state’s long-term care funding goes to institutional care and only 20% to less expensive and more popular home- and community-based care. For the fifth oldest state in the country – with challenging budgets and revenues – funding more home- and community-based services (HCBS) makes good public policy and sound financial sense.

In AARP’s recent voter education debates, held in September and October, we asked candidates for Governor, US Congress, and US Senate if they were supportive of adjusting HCBS funding so it is on par with institutional funding rules. Every single candidate was supportive.

“We are pleased this issue garnered unanimous bipartisan support,” said AARP New Hampshire Associate State Director for Community Outreach Steven Griffin. “Kelly Ayotte, Charlie Bass, Frank Guinta and John Lynch all agreed that New Hampshire’s long-term care system needs to be more responsive to the needs and preferences of our residents.”

A January 2009 survey of AARP New Hampshire members shows that 85% feel that having services that enable people to remain at home is very or extremely important And more than eight in ten members support redirecting long-term care funding so a greater percentage goes to home- and community-based services. This is why AARP New Hampshire has long-term care reform as its number one legislative priority.

“We have debate footage and voters’ guides for all four of the newly-elected officials on our Facebook page and we encourage people to check out their views on long-term care and other important issues,” added Griffin. “We’ll need your help to keep home- and community-based services a priority.”

To get involved in AARP New Hampshire’s long-term care campaign, send an email to Doug McNutt or Steve Griffin.

“Advancing this issue can’t happen without your help,” concluded Griffin.

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