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Abstract

The Fiftieth Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid offers an opportunity to reflect on how American social policy has conceived of the problem of long-term care. In this essay, I argue that current policies adopt too narrow a conception of long-term care risk, by focusing on the effect of serious illness and disability on people who need care and not on the friends and family who often provide it. I propose a more complete view of long-term care risk that acknowledges how illness and disability reverberates through communities, posing insecurity for people beyond those in need of care.

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