Bills offer sensible solution to long-term care

Our thanks to The Maui News for publishing the Feb. 20 important article about long-term care and how the people of Maui, Hawaii and indeed the whole nation are being affected.

Most people don’t realize that our Maui senior citizen population (65-plus) increased by more than 35 percent from 2000 to 2010, and that the increase is on a steep upward curve as our county ages.

We are also concerned that people tend to forget that there is also a real need for long-term care services for young people with disabilities. A recent survey by AARP exposed a deep concern about the inability to afford the steep and rising costs for such care. Another major concern is the lack of means to solve the financial crisis long-term care exposes.

We see two options at this time. We could do nothing and watch while many older people suffer and the number of people qualifying for Medicaid soars to unsustainable heights. Or we can take steps to implement sensible solutions such as SB104 (companion HB1), which would help working residents build a foundation of preparation for the future.

This issue affects all of us and our families. We urge the readers of The Maui News to join us and ask your legislators to support this realistic measure.

Marv and Michele Paularena