I attended a lunch in February put on by the Institute for Research on Public Policy. The room was jammed, not an empty seat. Wonderful I thought…..maybe something may actually begin to change.

The panel featured three speakers:

  1. David Baker, Sun Life Financial who made the case for long term care insurance.
  2. Michel Grignon, director of the Centre for health Economics and Policy at McMaster who made the case for a universal public insurance plan to cover long term care.
  3. Michael Decter, an economist who has spent half his career in the public sector and envisages a framework like the CPP into which workers and employers would contribute. Ottawa would administer the plan and provinces would ensure their residents would receive the required home and facility care.

Conclusion of the panel: Canadians need to think and talk about the issue. The system is close to the breaking point and the baby boom has not even hit its heavy-need years.

Karen’s conclusion: More research will be done, millions more spent and we won’t be any closer to a consensus on funding long term care.

As Carol Goar from The Toronto Star wrote: The red flags were obvious to everyone in the room. Outside, people went about their business, assuming the elder care system would be there when they needed it.