The White House finally appointed the last three members of the congressional long-term care commission, making it possible for the panel to get down to work.

The nominations, which were supposed to have been made by Feb 1, are Henry Claypool, Executive Vice President of the American Association of People with Disabilities and a top aide at the Department of Health and Human Services from 2009-2012; Dr. Julian Harris, a physician and the Massachusetts Medicaid director; and Carol Raphael, the Vice Chair of the AARP board and former CEO of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

The three White House appointees fill out the 15-member panel that includes nine Democratic picks and six Republican choices. The commission was created in January as part of the same legislation that repealed the CLASS Act. It is supposed to propose solutions to a broad range of long-term care issues, including delivery, finance, and workforce matters.

The panel is required to complete its work in six months. However, the law does not require Congress to vote on its recommendations.

The commission has no budget. Thus, its staff will be made up of congressional and administration aides. Additional support will probably be provided by the organizations that are represented on the commission. However, the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that took effect earlier this month are likely to make it tougher to find quality staff from within the Obama Administration, since government agencies are already facing staff furloughs.  

Previous Democratic picks were:

Javaid Anwar, a Las Vegas internist who is vp for health services at a large casino/hotel company and served as chair of Nevada’s Committee on Access to Health Care.

Laphonza Butler, president of the Service Employee’s International United Long Term Care Workers’ union.

Bruce Chernof, a physician who is president and CEO of the California-based SCAN Foundation, which focuses on senior issues.

Judy Feder, my colleague at the Urban Institute who served as a senior health aide in the Clinton Administration and staff director of the 1989-90 Pepper Commission.

Judith Stein, founder of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, which represents beneficiaries in their disputes with the Medicare program.

George Vradenburg, a former media executive and founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s—a non-profit that advocates largely for research dollars aimed at finding a cure for dementia.

The GOP picks were:

Judith Brachman, who formerly served as a housing official in the Reagan Administration and director of the Ohio Department of Aging, now chairs the Jewish Federation of North America’s Aging and Family Caregiving Committee. JFNA represents long-term care providers.

Bruce Greenstein, Louisiana’s Secretary of Health and Hospitals, who was formerly a senior official at the federal Department of Health and Human Services and managing director for worldwide health at Microsoft.

Stephen Guillard was CEO of several large skilled nursing facility operators including HCR ManorCare and was chairman of the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, a trade group that represents large for-profit nursing home companies.

Neil Pruitt is chairman and CEO of UHS-Pruitt Corp, an integrated health care company, and board chair of The American Health Care Assn., the largest trade group representing nursing homes and other senior service providers.

Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute, a free-market oriented public policy organization that focuses on health care issues.

Mark Warshawsky is a pension expert who directs retirement research at the benefits firm Towers Watson and was a senior official at the Treasury Department from 2004-2006.

The commission’s next task will be to choose a chair and vice chair, and recruit a staff. It has not yet scheduled any meetings.