The Congressional Long-Term Care Commission has selected SCAN Foundation president Bruce A. Chernof as its chair and Mark Warshawsky, director of retirement research at the consulting firm Towers Watson, as Vice Chair. The panel will hold its first meeting on June 27.
The commission also quietly replaced one of its members, former Louisiana Secretary of Health and Hospitals Bruce Greenstein. His slot will be taken by Christopher Jacobs, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation and a former congressional staffer. Jacobs is a vocal critic of the 2010 Affordable Care Act which, he recently argued, “should be repealed and defunded.” Greenstein, who was selected by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, is the subject of state and federal conflict of interest and perjury investigations.
The Hill panel is charged with recommending ways to improve the delivery and financing of long-term supports and services. But it is operating under severe constraints. It can meet only over the next four months, it has a very limited budget and no permanent staff. Many of its fifteen members (9 Democratic appointees and 6 Republican appointees) are deeply divided over fundamental issues, and although Congress created the commission, is has no obligation to consider any of its recommendations.
Chernof, who was appointed to the panel by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, is a physician. The California-based SCAN Foundation is a major funder of long-term care policy research.
Warshawsky, who was named to the panel by McConnell, is an expert in retirement finance. Before joining Towers Watson he was assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department under President George W. Bush.
Warshawsky recently argued that the commission should operate by consensus and not by majority vote. He also said the commission should have at least 18 months to complete its work.
For more on Warshawsky’s thoughts on the commission and long-term care, here is a link to a recent American Enterprise Institute panel discussion that he and I participated in.