My beloved wife of 56 years is slipping away, a victim of Alzheimer’s disease.
Millions across our nation are suffering the same tragic loss.
Thank God for our family and other caregivers who have come to our assistance. We are not bearing the burden alone.
Yet all the expenses have been paid from our own fixed retirement income.
We need measures like the Long Term Care Trust Act approved by the state House 63 to 33 last month.
If the Senate approves it and Gov. Inslee signs it into law, it would set up a trust fund that provides $100 per day for 365 days to help victims of terminal illnesses.
The benefit can be drawn when it is needed.
Like Social Security and Medicare, it would be financed by a payroll tax of 58 cents per $100 of earned income.
It would be the first long-term care program in the nation.
It is only a first step.
For example, it would provide no help for people like us who have not contributed to the trust fund.
Long-term care of the elderly and infirm looms in the 2020 elections.
It is far more urgent than spending $5.6 billion for a wall on our southern border.
We should amend Medicare to provide a benefit that covers this enormous unmet human need.
We also need to increase federal funding of research to find cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, HIV and other lethal diseases.