THE AVERAGE cost of a year's stay in a nursing home is $25,000. At that price, even the most well-planned retirement savings soon give out.
The "Secure Choice" legislation that Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., and Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., plan to introduce this month tackles the issue head-on, but requires caution: Congress should not offer more than it can afford -- and in the area of long-term care, estimates of cost and demands are sketchy.
One portion of the Packwood-Dole legislation is squarely on the mark. It makes individual and employer-provided long-term care insurance policies more attractive by clarifying the tax code so the costs of insurance and services are treated as medical expenses.