A year ago, the idea that an aged care consumer might be asked to contribute more to the cost of their care was almost unmentionable in polite society.
Only 4 months ago, in the context of discussing the financial sustainability of the aged care system, I asked in the Business News and on a LinkedIn Post
“Why does this issue rarely rate a mention in the media and why are politicians always reluctant to discuss it?”
Last week, the government established the Aged Care Taskforce with an express mandate to review funding arrangements for aged care. What seemed almost impossible such a short time ago is now squarely on the agenda!
It’s time to reconcile with the fact that, for the aged care system to be sustainable, the consumer needs to contribute more towards the cost of their care. Demand for aged care services is growing, yet 70 per cent residential aged care services operate at a loss. This not only endangers the quality of care provided but also threatens the accessibility of these vital services.
Increased co-contributions will, no doubt, stir concerns about affordability and access to care. Yet, at its heart, the idea is rooted in principles of fairness and equity: those who have the capacity to contribute more to their aged care should do so, thereby freeing up public resources for those most in need.
This is a matter where brave conversations and decision-making are required. Minister Anika Wells is still hedging her bets with a levy still on the table. Let’s hope this is not the government’s end-point though. A levy or higher taxes are ultimately inequitable.
Put simply, albeit bluntly, why should taxpayers (many of whom will not inherit) pay more than they already are for the care of retirees with money in the bank and equity in their home?
You can find out more on this in link below. Just head to page 55. (Please note that this is behind a paywall and requires a Business News subscription to read in full).