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Sunday, 06 March 2016 11:00

Billions Proposed in Dedicated State Funding for Elderly Care

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Update: Proposal for state funding of Long-Term Care on hold - Will the proposed Minnesota State constitutional amendment be reintroduced?

The ability of seniors to cover the cost of Long-Term Care and Housing is a growing concern to them. With the baby-boom generation ageing and lifespan increasing, affordable housing and care of senior citizens is on the minds of lawmakers as well.

Recently an amendment to the Minnesota state constitution relating to the issue of Long-Term Care was introduced by Minnesota state senator Kent Eken to Minnesota lawmakers. However it failed to get a hearing last session. Nevertheless, Sen. Eken is determined and intends to ‘introduce the bill again next session and work as hard as possible to get the bill heard and on the ballot for Minnesota’s voters’. This according to Jacque Clinton, Legislative Assistant to Senator Kent Eken.

More and more, lawmakers are recognizing the importance of dealing effectively with the cost of Long-Term Care and Housing for senior citizens. It is a fact that the need of affordable housing for those of advanced age and requiring extra or specialized care will continue to increase in our nation.

The older population—persons 65 years or older—numbered 46.2 million in 2014 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 14.5% of the U.S. population, about one in every seven Americans. By 2060, there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2014. -

We applaud the efforts of Senator Eken and others to effectively address the important issue of affordable Long-Term Care, and hope they will not give up when facing setbacks. As always Senior Home Search will keep you updated on these efforts as they relate to Senior Housing and Assisted Living.

In Minnesota, a state senator wants to amend the state constitution to require funding for "the state's most vulnerable."

Minnesota lawmakers say the state is late in making sure there is funding to take care of them.

Sen. Kent Eken, D-Twin Valley, is leading an effort to increase funding for senior citizens and the disabled. The senator said his effort is meant to "shine a spotlight on an issue that in our view has been too often ignored."

Under Senator Eken's proposed plan, an estimated $1.2 billion a year would be provided by adding a tax on the top 4 percent of the wealthiest Minnesotans. Most Americans pay a federal tax up to $118,500 of individual income to fund Social Security. Eken said the state would add the same size tax on people earning more than $118,500.

The plan is bound to draw criticism from lawmakers who do not want to raise taxes.

Details of the Senators Plan

The Eken plan would amend the constitution for 25 years, enough to ride out what he described as "an age wave coming toward us, the likes of which we have never seen."

His website outlines the proposal this way:

“This care will be funded by closing a tax loophole for a small group of wealthy individuals. Currently, individual income above $118,500 is exempt from the tax which supports Social Security. Only the top four percent of income earners receive this special treatment. Everyone else is required to pay this tax on all of their earned income. Closing the loophole, and treating the top four percent the same as everyone else, will fund the care needed to help our most vulnerable citizens.”

Minnesota Senator Kent Eken

Read more about the proposal:

Sen. Eken, Rep. Newton Hold Press Conference on Dedication Amendment

As the need for senior caregiving continues to increase, will state and federal funding to address this need increase as well? Truly, much effort on the part of citizens will be required it that is to be.

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