Caps, Opt-ins, Opt-outs: Is England making progress in reform of care funding?

Caps Opt in Opt outs

Analysis of the Coalition Government’s July 2012 ‘progress report’ on care funding.

This discussion paper provides a response to “Caring for our future: progress report on funding reform”, which was published by the government in July 2012, and set out the government’s response to the recommendations of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support.

The paper explores various questions, including:

  • Is the government right to blame the structural deficit for putting off reform?
  • What does the universal deferred payment scheme mean in practice?
  • Could the government implement a ‘low-cost’ version of the ‘capped cost’ model?

The response paper argues that the government’s ‘progress report’ effectively acknowledges that care funding reform could proceed on a cost-neutral basis for the Treasury, and not interfere with the government’s deficit reduction strategy. However, the government fails to set out any of the options for paying for care funding reform that have been identified by commentators and – frustratingly – does not seek to use its ‘progress report’ to inform a wider debate on this issue.

The paper suggests that progress toward care funding reform may now occur in several ways:

  • Public acceptance of the difficult tax and spending decisions required to make the ‘capped cost’ model cost-neutral for the Treasury;
  • The implementation of a low-cost ‘capped cost’ model, or t
  • The creation of a voluntary ‘capped cost’ state-sponsored insurance scheme that becomes mandatory over time.

Author: James Lloyd, Strategic Society Centre

Download the report: Caps Opt-ins Opt-outs: Is England making progress in reforming care funding?

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