It’s anybody’s guess what has prompted the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia to warmly embrace the Productivity Commission’s proposals for selling or borrowing against the family home to pay for aged care.
It is also anybody’s guess why COTA Australia would issue a media release attacking CPSA’s position, claiming it was “misleading” to say that you would need to sell or borrow against the family home to pay for aged care.
COTA Australia is a member of the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA).
According to NACA’s website (22 August 2011) NACA has twenty-seven members.
Eight members are big aged care providers. Two are peak organisations representing aged care providers.
Twelve of those are organisations representing various medical interests in aged care and there are two unions, which look after the interests of aged care employees.
So out of twenty-seven members, twenty-four are preoccupied with delivering care, while the remaining three (COTA Australia, Alzheimer’s Australia and Carers Australia) are there to look out for care recipients.
These three organisations have some explaining to do.
Why are they part of an alliance dominated by aged care providers and the people that work for them? Why have they placed on themselves an obligation to adopt the policy positions NACA adopts?
NACA has relentlessly pushed for the current bond arrangements for low care to be extended to high care.
COTA Australia has some further explaining to do.
The Minister for Aged Care, who has indicated his support for the thrust of the Productivity Commission’s proposals, has described NACA as the main stakeholder for him to deal with. It means that any organisation which is not a member of NACA does not get a look-in.
As a direct result of this curious reasoning, the Minister picked COTA Australia to organise community consultation meetings about the Productivity Commission’s proposals and apparently paid COTA Australia for their trouble.
How did COTA Australia arrive at its policy position on the Productivity Commission’s aged care proposals? Was it motivated at all by pressure from its fellow NACA members? Was it motivated at all by the prospect of collecting additional funding? Was it motivated at all by a desire for empire-building?