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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

The role of interest groups in long-term care policy: a Texas case study.
Weizenbaum, Jonathan Kahn.
Report 2001 W43905 Public Affairs Library.

This report examines the role of interest groups representing the elderly and persons with disabilities in the development of long-term care legislation in Texas between the years of 1998 to 2001. The report begins with an overview of long-term care services and supports. Theoretical perspectives regarding political interest groups are presented, followed by an historical overview of aging and disability advocacy movements in the United States. The development of legislation to create a single long-term care agency in Texas is examined via an analysis of public documents, recordings, and interviews with key participants. Aging and disability interest groups are found to have organized in some cases to redress perceived inequities in existing categorical service systems, and in other cases to defend those systems, producing a legislative compromise that did not fully satisfy either side. The report concludes with a discussion of the reasons each group took the position it did and recommendations for avoiding such political battles by focusing on access to long-term care services at the local and regional, rather than state agency, levels.