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‘Financial Ruin Is Baked Into the System’: Readers on the Costs of Long-Term Care

Thousands of readers reacted to the articles in the Dying Broke series about the financial burden of long-term care in the United States. They offered their assessments for the government and market failures that have drained the lifetime savings of so many American families. And some offered possible solutions.

In more than 4,200 comments, readers of all ages shared their struggles in caring for spouses, older parents and grandparents. They expressed their own anxieties about getting older and needing help to stay at home or in institutions like nursing homes or assisted-living facilities.

Many suggested changes to U.S. policy, like expanding the government’s payments for care and allowing more immigrants to stay in the country to help meet the demand for workers. Some even said they would rather end their lives than become a financial burden to their children.

Many readers blamed the predominantly for-profit nature of American medicine and the long-term care industry for depleting the financial resources of older people, leaving the federal-state Medicaid programs to take care of them once they were destitute.

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