The remaining three members of the Commission on Long-Term Care have been selected by President Obama. The selection of these individuals adds to the previously appointed members and completes the 15-member body. With appointments complete, the clock begins. The Commission has been given six months to come up with a “comprehensive, coordinated and high-quality system” for making long-term care services available to seniors and people with disabilities, and recommend legislation.

As noted by Forbes contributor Howard Gleckman, with no budget to follow, the Commission and “its staff will be made up of congressional and administration aides. Additional support will probably be provided by the organizations that are represented on the commission. However, the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that took effect earlier this month are likely to make it tougher to find quality staff from within the Obama Administration, since government agencies are already facing staff furloughs.”

The Commission is made up of the following individuals:

White House Appointments:
Henry Claypool, Executive V.P. of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

Julian Harris, MD, Medicaid Director in MA

Carol Raphael, Vice Chair of the AARP Board of Directors.

Democratic Appointments:
Javaid Anwar, a Nevada physician who served as chair of Nevada‘s Committee on Access to Health Care.

Laphonza Butler, President of the United Long-Term Care Workers Union.

Dr. Bruce Chernof, President of the SCAN Foundation, a charity working to improve health care for seniors.

Judy Feder, a professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, former staff director of the 1989-90 Pepper Commission and senior health aide in the Clinton administration.

Judith Stein, founder and executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

George Vradenburg, a philanthropist and founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s

Republican Appointments:
Judith Brachman, former Director of the Ohio Department of Aging.

Bruce Greenstein, Louisiana’s Secretary of Health and Hospitals.

Stephen Guillard, former CEO of HCR ManorCare and chairman of a trade group that represents large for-profit nursing home companies.

Neil Pruitt, Chairman and CEO of UHS-Pruitt Corporation, a long-term care provider, and Board Chair of The American Health Care Association.

Grace-Marie Turner, Founder and President of the Galen Institute, a research organization that promotes free-market ideas for health reform.

Mark Warshawsky, a pension expert and former Treasury official under President George W. Bush.

The question on the minds of many is what this team of 15 individuals, with 15 different agendas, can actually accomplish in the short time period of 6 months. Is it reasonable to charge them with designing a plan to sustain long term care services to the elderly and disabled citizens of the United States?

– Kathleen M. May