Pete Buttigieg has a solution that I wish my parents would have had.
When I started reading Pete Buttigieg’s plan outlining long term care options, I was driving to the Portland Airport after spending a weekend snuggling with our newborn granddaughter and playing with her adoring big brother. I was in a warm and fuzzy state. Then I felt myself become breathless and teary as I started reading Pete’s comments on his plan.
“I’ll always remember the social worker patiently explaining to my mom that her best option to cover Dad’s care might be for our family to spend everything that we had until we were asset-poor enough to qualify for Medicaid,” he said. “I am determined to usher in a new era for older Americans that upholds the unshakable promise that every American should be able to maintain a decent standard of living when they retire.”
My experience has shown me that for so many others the situation our family faced decades ago was exactly what Pete and his Mom were confronting when his father became critically ill. We learned the hard way that long term care should not be a privilege for those who can afford it. Long-term care should exist to provide dignity and security whenever it is necessary for whoever needs it and home care should be an option whenever possible.
When I read Pete’s plan this morning I was flooded with memories. But I was aware of something else, too. People sometimes question Pete’s age and experience in how he will have the “right type of experience” to lead our country.
Sitting in that social worker’s office last year gave Pete the experience to understand what people go through at one of the most vulnerable moments in their lives. You can’t put a value on that. It is priceless.
He didn’t have to serve in Congress to come up with a solution. He didn’t have to be 65 years old either. He saw a situation that needs to change and he has offered a strong and reasoned solution based on serious research and investment.
My story and Pete’s might not be yours but I have told mine in detail to make a point. Our crisis started forty years ago with my dad’s out of the blue heart attack changing the future in ways we would never have imagined. Pete’s experience was just last year. It is past time to fix this. It is time to be bold with solutions with dignity and #WinTheEra.
Thank you Pete for having the right values and experience to make the world a better place.
[read in full at Medium.com]