May 13, 2019

The coming long-term care cost crisis

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Long-term care is already prohibitively expensive for many seniors, and the problem is expected to explode in scope in the next couple of decades, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The problem is especially acute for the group of seniors that have incomes too high to quality for Medicaid or subsidized housing, but too low to afford pricey long-term care.

  • In a decade, 80% of seniors that fall into the middle-income category will have less than $60,000 a year in income and assets, according to a recent study. But assisted living plus out-of-pocket medical expenses is projected to cost $62,000.
  • Depending on how long-term care is defined, between half and two-thirds of older Americans are expected to need it.

The bottom line: Medicare and Social Security funding is already in trouble, making it hard to imagine where the money for any additional long-term care benefits would come from. Smaller solutions are easier to picture.

  • Regardless of whether the U.S. budget has room for it or not, the problem of how to pay for seniors' care is barreling towards us, and it's only going to get worse.

Go deeper: Seniors are the health care industry's gold rush

Go deeper

In photos: We've seen images like the protests in Minneapolis before

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP/MPI/Getty Images

The photos of protests around the country following the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police are hauntingly familiar. We’ve seen them many times before, going back decades.

Why it matters: "What is also unmistakable in the bitter protests in Minneapolis and around the country is the sense that the state is either complicit or incapable of effecting substantive change," Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, an assistant professor of African-American studies at Princeton University writes in the New York Times. The images that follow make all too clear how little has changed since the modern Civil Rights Movement began in the 1950s.

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,968,693— Total deaths: 365,796 — Total recoveries — 2,520,587Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,749,846 — Total deaths: 102,900 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: The future of mobility in the post-pandemic worldGeorge Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business.
  4. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  6. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  7. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.

The aftermath of George Floyd's death: Everything you need to know

A mural outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, near where George Floyd was killed in an encouner with police. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in jail under $500,000 bail on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter after a video of him kneeling on George Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes and Floyd's death catapulted the country's major cities into a state of protest.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.